As you read this report a bunch of automotive journalists are driving the Honda Amaze across the salt flats in the Rann of Kutch, celebrating the car’s success story in India. A while ago, the Amaze also set a Guinness record for the longest drive in a single country covering 23,800 km in 53 days. Honda, clearly, has had a great 2014 and is looking forward to an even better 2015.
What’s really clicked for Honda was the launch of the 1.5 I-Dtec diesel engine. This engine, which first made its appearance in the Honda Amaze in April 2013, and was an instant hit for its fuel efficiency and power. The same engine then made its way to the refreshed Honda City, followed by the Honda Mobilio. The spate of new launches also kept the Honda factory buzzing. 2015 looks even more promising, with more launches lined up that could add to the overall volumes for Honda.
First up is the new Honda Jazz, which will be launched in the first half of the year. The new Honda Jazz shares a lot of its underpinnings with the new City and is significantly more spacious than the earlier car. As always it has a great amount of flexibility, with flip and fold rear seats liberating a lot of luggage space when needed in a variety of ways. This car will come with Honda’s 1.5 i-Dtec diesel engine as well as a 1.2 litre petrol engine.
Next up is the Honda Accord – the all new 2015 Honda Accord that is far more luxurious than the car it replaces. However, all you diesel hopefuls out there, don’t get your hopes up. Honda has confirmed that there won’t be a diesel engine offering with the new Accord – it will be powered by a new 2.4 litre petrol engine, putting out 173 bhp of power and 224 Nm of torque, with a five-speed automatic transmission featuring paddle shifts. It comes loaded with a lot more features – touchscreen infotainment system, rear climate control and far more rear seat space compared to the current Accord. The styling too has gone back to being more executive and less flamboyant.
Honda has also ruled out launching a facelift of the Honda CR-V. The current CR-V will continue to sell with its 2-litre petrol, two-wheel drive layout and 2.4 litre petrol, all-wheel drive layout forms. Honda has ruled out launching a diesel CR-V for the Indian market. Honda Amaze buyers in towns and cities where CNG is available, can look forward to the launch of the Honda Amaze CNG variant in a few months. The car is ready and is currently being tested.
Civic fans will have to wait. As of now, there is no plan to bring back the Honda Civic in 2015. The company may consider its launch in 2016 depending on market conditions – as the Civic segment has been either shrinking or remaining stagnant at best over the past year.