Japanese automaker Honda has announced that the production of the Mobilio will start in the next couple of months, what with the MPV being readied up for a launch in India during July 2014. Folks looking forward to the Jazz B+ segment hatchback will be disappointed to learn that Honda has no plans of launching the Jazz in India this year. The car will make it onto Indian roads early next year with Honda looking at a March 2015 launch for the latest generation of the B+ segment hatchback.
The Mobilio MPV will roll out of Honda’s newly inaugurated Tapukara factory. While the Tapukara facility used to have body stamping and engine assembly functions, car assembly is a newly added feature to the factory. The Mobilio MPV will be aimed at the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. Longer than the Ertiga, the Mobilio is a seven seat MPV that will be sold in India with petrol and turbo diesel engine options.
The petrol motor of the Mobilio is the tried and tested 1.5 liter i-VTEC engine (116 Bhp-146 Nm) that is also seen on the 2014 City sedan. The diesel motor of the MPV is the 1.5 liter i-DTEC turbo diesel engine that does duty in the likes of the Amaze and the City sedans. An all-aluminum engine known for its light weight, minimal turbo lag and high fuel efficiency, the motor churns out 98.6 Bhp of peak power and 200 Nm of peak torque. A downside of this engine is its high noise levels.
Like newly launched Honda cars, the Mobilio is expected to feature a high amount of localization in order to keep costs low. With the Ertiga as its key rival, the Mobilio is likely to be launched at a price that is similar to that of the Ertiga. We’ve seen this happen with the Honda Amaze, which under cut the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire. A similar story could pan out with the Mobilio as well given Honda’s ambitions of aggressively expanding market share here.
Coming to the Jazz hatchback, 1.2 liter i-VTEC petrol and 1.5 liter i-DTEC turbo diesel engines will be standard options on the car. While a 5 speed manual gearbox will be standard on both engines, the petrol variant could get a 5 speed torque converter or a CVT automatic gearbox. The Jazz will be positioned as a premium B+ segment hatchback aimed at the likes of the Hyundai i20 and the Volkswagen Polo GT car models.