Earlier this month, Honda Cars India launched the new City Hybrid. Called City e:HEV, it comes in one top-of-the-range fully loaded ZX variant. Priced from Rs 19.5 lakh, ex-sh, deliveries of the sedan have now started. Honda’s top management, including their President and CEO, handed over the keys to the first customers.
New City Hybrid is based on the fifth-generation City, which is already on sale in the country. Look wise, e:HEV is almost similar to its conventional sibling with only minor nips and tucks like the Honda logos having a blue outline, e:HEV badging, new fog lamp surrounds, spoiler on boot lid and a new diffuser design on the rear bumper.
Honda City e:HEV will also come with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) known as Honda Sensing Suite and will include autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. As Honda City e:HEV will have substantially more torque than its standard sibling, it will come fitted with disc brakes at the rear. The hybrid will also get electric parking brake.
The car will also come with six standard airbags, updated 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, connected technology with Amazon Echo, Google assistant and smartwatch integration, ambient lighting, electric sunroof and tyre pressure monitoring system.
Honda City e:HEV will be powered by an Atkinson cycle 1.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine producing 126 hp and 253 Nm of torque. The engine will be connected to two electric motors, the first of which will be used to charge the battery, which will send power to the second motor which will turn the wheels.
There is no gearbox in the car as the electric motor directly drives the wheels. When the engine needs to send power directly to the wheels at higher speeds, a lock-up clutch comes into play connecting the engine to the wheels. There is no energy loss when transmitting power directly to the wheels bypassing a gearbox, which results in increased efficiency.
Honda claims that City e:HEV has fuel efficiency of 26.5 kpl as in start-stop traffic scenarios, the engine automatically shuts off and propulsion duties are taken over by the battery-motor combine thus saving fuel. Only at higher speeds the engine automatically starts and not only drives the car but also charges the battery.
The hybrid City weighs around 110 kg more than regular City and this is due to the weight of the battery pack, which has been accommodated in the boot reducing boot space resulting in Honda offering space-saver spare tyre in place of a regular one. The standard City comes with boot space of 506 litres while the hybrid variant will have 410 litres. Honda City hybrid rivals the likes of Skoda Slavia and upcoming Volkswagen Virtus though none of these recently-launched European cars have hybrid variants.