The new affordable hybrid will be a 5-door hatchback and will carry the five-door hybrid’s styling from the lines of Honda’s hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity sedan.
Aimed squarely at the Toyota Prius, Honda’s dedicated hybrid model will be equipped with a revised version of the Civic Hybrid’s 1.3-liter Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system with the updated nickel-metal-hybrid batteries stored under the cargo space. The reason why Honda decided to stick with the Civic’s ‘mild-hybrid’ system is that it can provide a realistic 45 to 50 mpg without costing near as much as the more advanced powertrain used in the Prius.
The new hybrid car will feature a heavily revised hybrid powertrain with major components made lighter, more compact and placed under the cargo space instead of behind the rear seats like the current generation Civic Hybrid. Weight savings will be significant, further improving fuel economy.
Moreover, the sources forecast the introduction of CR-Z hybrid by model-year 2012, the hybrid Fit by 2015.