Honda City Hybrid will likely become the most fuel efficient mid-sized sedan upon launch in India
Honda has not been in the headlines for quite a while now. Its last all new product launch was of the 5th gen Honda City, which came in just around the onset of Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, its only other launch has been of 2021 Honda Amaze Facelift.
Now, after a gap of almost 2 years, Honda is all set to further expand its existing portfolio. Honda has confirmed that it is brining in Honda City Hybrid to India. Official unveil has been planned for 14th April’22. Ahead of that, Honda has now shared a new teaser of the upcoming City hybrid.
2022 Honda City Hybrid Powertrain
New City Hybrid will be using Honda’s i-MMD hybrid tech, which uses a traditional IC petrol engine and two electric motors. City Hybrid will get a 1.5 litre 4 cylinder 98hp naturally aspirated petrol motor which runs on Atkinson cycle.
This engine will be mated to an electric motor which will have an integrated starter generator setup. Additionally, the City Hybrid will get a secondary electric motor, which will be able to dish out 109 hp and 253 Nm of peak torque. Below is the teaser video of top of the line Honda City Hybrid ZX top variant. Hybrid City will come with e: HEV badge.
— Honda Car India (@HondaCarIndia) April 11, 2022
The sedan will have 3 drive modes, one which will be via just the electric motors, one via its petrol-powered engine and one with a combination of electric motors and petrol engine. Undoubtedly, the best power out-put will be available when the electric motors and the petrol engine will work together to send power to sedan’s front axle.
Interestingly, most so called ‘Hybrids’ in India only get an integrated starter-generator and make the claim of being a hybrid vehicle. While the ISG helps them to technically bag the ‘Hybrid’ tag, however for all practical purposes, they don’t quality as Hybrids. Honda City, however will be a complete exception with a genuine hybrid powerplant, something which the Indian market hasn’t witnessed till now in the sub-20 lakhs segment.
In international markets, the City Hybrid gets a styling which is similar to the performance-oriented City RS. Highlights include sporty exteriors, black accents on body, and an all-black interior theme. Additional features could include Honda’s Sensing tech pack, which comprises of ADAS features like adaptive cruise control, auto high beam assist, front collision warning system, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist and much more.
While it is good to see Honda planning to bring in fresh products/variants for the Indian market, its current sales numbers have become concerning. It relies for its sales numbers on the City and Amaze, both of which command a significant market share in their respective segments. However, as the Sedan segment sees decline in demand, a dynamic increase in sales from its existing portfolio looks difficult.
Honda is not looking at Honda City Hybrid to help it with major volumes. It is planning on sales of only around 250-300 units per month, which roughly translates into less than 10% sales of the City. Pricing will also play a major role in overall sales of the City, as the top-end Hybrid City could cost around INR 20 lakhs or so, technically entering into the full-sized sedan segment in terms of cost.