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By Andrew Ganz

Honda's European market Jazz Hybrid (known to North Americans as the Honda Fit in non-hybrid form) isn't set to cross the Atlantic. Still, the automaker's eco-friendly small hatchback will land in Europe early next year after it formally debuts this week at the Paris Motor Show.

Erik Berkman, VP of corporate planning and logistics for American Honda, confirmed to Inside Line that the model isn't destined for the U.S. Although Berkman didn't go into details as for the reasoning behind the decision, it is very likely due to the obvious overlap that would have existed between the Fit Hybrid and the dedicated Insight hybrid models.

Powertrain details

The Jazz Hybrid will share the same drivetrain as the dedicated hybrid Insight, a 1.3-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder paired with a CVT gearbox and a parallel hybrid electric system. In the U.S., this drivetrain returns an EPA-rated 40 city, 43 highway mpg. The gas engine contributes 98 horsepower at 5,800 rpm, and 123 lb-ft of torque from 1,000 to 1,700 rpm, while the electric motor adds in 13 horsepower at 1,500 rpm and 58 torque at just 1,000 rpm.

The Insight is just slightly larger than the Jazz (Fit) Hybrid, but even still Honda is eluding to the fact that the Fit Hybrid will be similarly rated in terms of fuel economy with this statement, "Much of the Jazz's practicality is derived from its height but despite being taller than the Insight, the Jazz Hybrid manages to maintain fuel consumption and CO2 emissions on comparable levels."

For now, Honda says that the Jazz Hybrid will sip fuel at a rate of 4.4 liters per 100 km, which works out to about 53.5 mpg U.S. We'll have to wait until official figures, however, as Honda says that rate is derived from internal testing only.

The Jazz hybrid is distinguished from the current Jazz range with revised headlights, with a blue surround, clear rear lights, new front grille, restyled bumpers and a chrome tailgate garnish. The new hybrid will also be available in a range of existing colors plus a bespoke Lime Green metallic (pictured).

Inside, the cabin is also given a fresh look with darker single color dashboard, which contrasts with the blue lighting of the dials and stereo.

Honda says that the Jazz Hybrid retains its unique "Magic Seat" setup, a folding second row of seats. As such, the car retains the same storage capabilities of standard gasoline-only Jazz models.

Pricing was not yet released, but based on pricing set for Japan, it is expected that the Jazz Hybrid will undercut the slightly larger, dedicated hybrid Insight by as much as a few thousand dollars.



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Honda Jazz Hybrid: More Details and New Photos Released ahead of Paris Show


Being that the 2010 edition of the Paris Auto Show is just around the corner, Honda has released a new batch of photos as well as a few more details on its new hybrid variant of the Jazz, which is called Fit in the U.S. and other markers.

The smallest member of Honda's gasoline-electric hybrid family features the same IMA parallel hybrid system found on the Insight, combining a 1.3 liter engine with a 10 KW electric motor. The system allows the car to operate with engine only, engine and motor or electric motor only at low to medium speeds.

In the Jazz Hybrid, the IMA battery pack and power control unit are stored under the boot floor, keeping the normal boot (above floor) area of 300 liters, while also allowing the car's so-called "Magic Seats" to fold in the same manner as the non-hybrid version to provide a boot space of 831 liters.

Honda said the new Jazz Hybrid returns a combined fuel consumption figure of 4.4 l/100km [53.5 mpg US] in the European cycle. That's the same as the Insight and faintly better than the European variants of the Civic Hybrid (4.6 lt/100km) and CR-Z 2+2 (5.0lt/100km).



However, the Jazz Hybrid has CO2 emissions of 104 g/km, which is slightly higher than the Insight's 101g/km. Honda claims this is due to the Jazz's "taller, more flexibility focused shape."

The Japanese automaker said the Jazz hybrid will go on sale in some European markets in the early part of 2011, with prices, homologated emissions levels and full specifications to be announced in "due course". Currently, there are no plans to offer the Jazz Hybrid in North America.

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Honda releases more Fit Hybrid images, details

by Jeff Glucker (RSS feed) on Sep 29th 2010 at 8:59AM

European Honda Jazz Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

Honda has told us it will not be producing a Honda Fit Hybrid for the U.S. market, but it also once told us that there will be no Honda Jazz Hybrid. What you are looking at above is exactly that – an EU-market Honda Jazz with a gas-electric drivetrain. The new, more verdant model is set to make its world debut at the Paris Motor Show, and Honda has just released an expanded array of images and more details about the eco-minded hatch. While the Japanese automaker hasn't divulged the car's full specs, there are a few things we do know:

Interior space remains largely uncompromised, as the battery pack and other hybrid hardware is under the trunk floor.

The IMA mild hybrid motor and control systems are shared with the Insight and CR-Z.

Just like the Insight, the Jazz Hybrid utilizes a 1.3-liter gasoline engine under the hood.

The U.S. 2010 Honda Fit model is rated at 27 miles per gallon in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, and we expect the Fit Hybrid to push that urban rating up by more than a few notches. Sadly, this new model remains unlikely to make it to North American shores.

Gallery:European Honda Jazz Hybrid

[source: Honda]

Show full PR text

Honda Jazz Hybrid, Fully Flexible

*Jazz/Fit Hybrid keeps same interior cargo level as non-hybrid models.

*Motor and control system shared with Insight and CR-Z.

*1.3-liter i-VTEC paired with electric motor.

The world debut of the Jazz Hybrid at the Paris motor show will offer the first opportunity to see that Honda has added IMA hybrid technology to the innovative hatchback while still retaining the flexibility of its unique folding Magic Seats.

Importantly in the Jazz Hybrid the integration of the hybrid system into the car has not diminished the interior space, with the boot floor remaining at the same level as the current 1.2 and 1.4 Jazz models. The IMA battery pack and power control unit have been integrated in the area under the boot floor, keeping the normal boot (above floor) area of 300 litres and allowing the Magic Seats to fold in the same manner as non-hybrid versions. This means that the seats still fold entirely flat to provide a surprising large boot space of 831 litres or the seat bases can be folded to sit vertically to accommodate tall items within the car.

The IMA hybrid motor and control system are shared with the Insight and CR-Z hybrids, taking advantage of the proven reliability of this important technology. With almost two decades of development and 10 years of sales behind it, the Honda IMA system has proven itself to be a flexible and dependable technology, with over half a million vehicles on the road benefitting from its combination of low emissions and fuel economy.

The Jazz Hybrid will feature the same 1.3 litre i-VTEC as the Insight hybrid and despite its taller, more flexibility focussed shape, the new car has CO2 emissions of a similar level at 104 g/km* according to internal Honda tests. Like the Insight and Civic Hybrid models, the Jazz Hybrid will be capable of running on the electric motor alone under some medium and low speed conditions and this contributes to a combined fuel consumption figure of just 4.4 l/100km*.



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