Ahead of its expected launch in India next year, 2020 Honda City has been revealed with the strong hybrid option in Malaysia
Named i-MMD, the hybrid tech is already available in international-spec next-gen Honda Jazz and Honda CR-V. Honda’s strong hybrid system offers a range of benefits including improved response, faster acceleration and higher fuel efficiency.
How i-MMD strong hybrid works?
Most of the current generation hybrid cars in India are equipped with mild-hybrid tech, wherein power to the wheels is supplied directly by the combustion engine. In such hybrid cars, the electric motor works to assist the combustion engine by providing additional power and torque whenever needed. Some cars that have this tech include Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, MG Hector and Hector Plus.
Mild-hybrid tech can boost acceleration and improve fuel efficiency, but has its limitations. Honda’s i-MMD is a strong hybrid setup and is more advanced, as it is equipped with an internal combustion engine and two electric motors. The i-MMD setup on new City comes with a 1.5 litre NA, four-cylinder, Atkinson Cycle petrol engine that churns out 98 hp of max power and 127 Nm of max torque. This petrol motor is mostly used as a generator, and to provide direct drive, when at higher speeds.
Coming to the twin electric motors, the first is integrated with the petrol engine. It functions as an integrated starter-generator (ISG) and assists the petrol motor (mild hybrid). The second electric motor works more like the units seen on fully electric vehicles, wherein the power generated is sent to the wheels. The second electric motor on-board new City generates 109 hp and 253 Nm. This is sent to the front wheels. Most of the time, it is this electric motor which will be driving the car. The system comprises a bespoke gearbox that has single, fixed-gear ratio.
Honda City Strong Hybrid iMMD setup allows three drive modes – EV drive mode, hybrid drive mode and engine drive mode. In EV drive mode, only the second battery is used to power the car. In this mode, the car functions like a fully-electric car. This mode helps save fuel and boost acceleration in city traffic conditions. Below is the detailed first look video.
In Honda City hybrid drive mode, both the combustion engine and second battery are functional. This is useful when there’s a need for faster acceleration. In engine drive mode, only the internal combustion engine is functional. This mode is most appropriate for high-speed cruising. The combustion engine supplies power directly to the wheels, all while charging the battery.
Honda City strong hybrid India launch price
Honda City strong hybrid may offer several benefits, but it will be priced significantly higher than existing fifth-gen Honda City. Current City is available in the range of Rs 10.90 lakh to Rs 14.65 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). It is the most expensive midsize sedan in the country. New City strong hybrid is expected to be launched at a starting price of Rs 15 lakh.