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Spied: Honda Fit Hybrid

03/24/2010, 6:19 PMBY DREW JOHNSON

A hybrid version of the Honda fit is scheduled to roll into dealer showrooms later this year, and our spy photographers have just snapped the first images of the fuel-sipping hatchback. These images were snapped in Europe, indicating the new hybrid will also make it into Honda’s European lineup.

Our European spies have caught what appears to be the first physical proof of a Honda Fit hybrid on the testing circuit. The carefully placed tape on this prototype is believed to hide the subtle body changes necessary to accommodate the additional elements necessary to hybridize the Fit, along with the visual changes that will set it apart from its more conventional brethren.

Sources tell us that the packaging needs for the hybrid’s battery packs may hinder the functionality of the Fit’s “Magic Seat”, potentially killing some of the standard model’s utility. Any loss in packaging flexibility will likely be offset by the increased fuel-efficiency, rumored to be well north of 50mpg, with a price tag that’s expected to undercut Honda’s Insight Hybrid.

Honda confirmed the hybrid version of the Fit last year, but has yet to release any details on the gas-electric hatchback. However, look for the Fit to use a version of Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist system currently used in the Insight and CR-Z.



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