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Honda Spy Shots: New "Global Small Hybrid", Cloaked as Airwave+Fit

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Full Article and Pictures

Before you guys comment on the design, know that it's a mishmash of current JDM vehicles and is only a mule. What's underneath is rumored to be the global dedicated hybrid car, expected to sell 200k per year worldwide, with 100k of those in the U.S.

Mileage is expected to exceed current Prius, and it will be less expensive.

Developmental Test Mule

A first glance this may look like Honda’s “Airwave” – a small Asian-market people-mover or wagon. The “Airwave” badge is covered with a small piece of electrical tape, as are the Honda badges. With an expected facelift on the Airwave for the 2009 model year, it would have been easy to assume that this was just a freshening. Although it did seem odd to see two left-hand-drive versions of the Asia-only Honda.

It was difficult to see the body-colored panels welded on from afar, but getting a close-up look at this “Airwave” - we quickly noticed the front clip and headlamps were right off the Japanese version of the Jazz/Fit. In addition – the dash and all the gauges were right off the Fit. This was NO Airwave! Nor was this a Fit!

This is actually a developmental test mule for the much-publicized 2010 “Global Small Hybrid”. And this isn’t speculation!

Because styling details aren’t visible, sources were willing to divulge a few details about these very vehicles, and we were able to CONFIRM that these are in fact engineering mules for Honda’s Prius-fighting Hybrid.

Honda’s all-new hybrid, which will debut in 2009, is expected to exceed the current Prius’ miles-per-gallon rating – as well as offering the vehicle at a lower base price. Worldwide, sales are estimated at 200,000 units annually, with 100,000 – or half of the cars sold – to be here in the States.

The new hybrid will be built in Suzuka, Japan, and will offer an all-new and dedicated hybrid powertrain.

Brenda Priddy & Company

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Even though it's just a cobbled-together mule, besides the bug-eyed headlights it looks kinda cool..that C-pillar is interesting.

As far as being Hybrid...I'd rather have the new ECO Focus in Europe that has a diesel and gets 54mpg

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Will it continue using IMA + traditional eco tricks, or will it be a full-hybrid?

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I'd rather have the new ECO Focus in Europe that has a diesel and gets 54mpg

That's Imperial gallons. That equates to 45 us MPG. From an outsider/lurker, that mistake happens wayyyyy to often on this forum. Multipy English mpg estimates by .8327. Multiply km/liter by 4.25 to convert your "Euro" mpg estimates.

Will it continue using IMA + traditional eco tricks, or will it be a full-hybrid?

I hope they come up with something new, I think IMA had it's day. (and I'm a Honda fan) They're the largest internal combustion engine producer in the world, they can do better than they have the past couple years (no engines on Ward's 10 best).

Then again GM didn't make the list this year either, maybe it's rigged.

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Sorry, I got the km/liter to us mpg wrong, it should be multiplied by 1.96, so the 2.0l Focus Diesel would get about (21.7 * 1.96) = 42.5 mpg hwy, which is still fantastic.

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With GM 'rushing' the Volt into production and both Toyota and Hondra ramping up the rhetoric on their technologies, I think we are on the verge of some pretty interesting technologies. It has puzzled me to no end that the internal combustion engine has limped along for the past 30 years without any substantial breakthroughs.

I never want to give up personal transportation, but I can see that the future cannot sustain a world-wide increase in standards of living that will result in increased production of fuel-burning vehicles everywhere. Look at what is happening in the emerging markets of Asia and Brazil: if they rise to even half our standard of living, the resulting tens of millions more personal vehicles on the roads will implode this planet. We simply have to find alternate ways to propel our vehicles and I am happy to see anyone, even Honda, uping the ante on this endeavor.

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