Currently, the hybrid market is dominated by the Japanese car makers. Only Honda and Toyota have dared to enter the market at a more affordable price range. And if rumors are to be believed, the next hybrid from Honda could become the cheapest hybrid in the country. No, we aren’t talking about the come back of the Civic Hybrid, but instead the City Hybrid.
Honda has imported a single unit of the new City Hybrid for testing purposes. The vehicle is sold in the Japanese market as the Grace sedan and that is what has been brought into the Indian market. Where the Japanese model comes with both a front wheel drive and 4wd version, the one that has been imported is the front wheel drive one.
Under the hood is the same 1.5 liter engine that is assisted by a motor. Power is down from the 116 Bhp to 108 Bhp and 134 Nm. The electric motor on the other hand develops 28 Bhp and 160 Nm. The engine is mated to a 7 speed DCT instead of an eCVT that the other hybrid cars come with. In Japan, the City Hybrid is rated to give 34.4 kmpl in the front wheel drive variant which could make it one of the most fuel efficient engines in India when launched.
Other that the engine, the Grace also features minor changes to the exterior. There are new sporty alloys that look really nice, the hybrid badging on the front fender and a new tail lamp cluster at the back. On the inside, the car gets a small gear knob that looks really cool and a new instrument cluster as well.
Honda is known to be working on the facelift of the City which will most likely be unveiled later next year. There could be a possibility that the new vehicle could come with this hybrid option as well. If Honda can price the vehicle right, they certainly will have a huge advantage with this car.