The all new Honda Fit (equivalent to the Honda Jazz in the UK) will be the first model to be equipped with SPORT HYBRID Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive, Honda’s lightweight compact hybrid system which was first announced on 13 November 2012.
The Fit SPORT HYBRID achieved a significant 85.6mpg (36.4 km/L) when tested by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. This figure puts the new Fit at the top spot for economy in Japan according to Honda, though they admit this excludes plug-in hybrids from their claim.
Intriguingly, the new HYBRID SPORT system features complete electric drive when required as the dual clutch system is capable of disengaging the engine and motor, making for a more EV experience. From the press release,
“Adopting a newly developed inline 4-cylinder 1.5L Atkinson cycle (high expansion ratio cycle) engine, the SPORT HYBRID i-DCD consists of a 7-speed DCT system with a built-in high-output motor, and IPU (intelligent power unit) equipped with a built-in lithium-ion battery. Moreover, adopting an electric servo brake system that increases electrical regenerative efficiency and a fully-electric compressor that reduces engine load, the SPORT HYBRID i-DCD improves the vehicle’s fuel economy by more than 35% compared to a current IMA hybrid system.”
What does all that mean? Well, the SPORT HYBRID system features a 1.5L normally aspirated petrol engine designed to provide efficiency at the expense of power density (Atkinson cycle). This is combined with a 7 speed dual-clutch gearbox which has the electric motor, computer and battery built in. Regenerative features ensure the battery is topped up in a KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) style way. All this should help ensure Honda’s claim that the SPORT HYBRID is fast, efficient and economical.
The new Honda Fit SPORT HYBRID system features an automatic change between three driving modes dependent on certain criteria while travelling. The three modes are;
- EV Drive Mode for motor-only driving.
- Hybrid Drive Mode for both engine and motor driving.
- Engine Drive Mode for engine only driving.
Aside from being more fuel efficient, Honda claims this technology will make the new Honda Fit SPORT HYBRID feel much sportier and, “realise driving fun”.
The all-new Fit Hybrid is scheduled to be introduced and go on sale in Japan this September 2013. Having spoken with Honda, unfortunately it seems this car will not be graced with the Jazz nameplate in the UK.