Honda Cars India’s CEO Gaku Nakanishi has just revealed that the Japanese automaker is working on a brand new, affordable hybrid car for the Indian market. The affordable Honda hybrid car will be launched in India within the next 3 years. We’re leaning on the all-new, 5th generation Honda City sedan to be the automaker’s first affordable hybrid car. While we’ll elaborate why we think so, here is what the Honda Cars India CEO had to say about the new affordable hybrid car that’s under development.
The key factors are infrastructure, technology and price for the electric vehicles right now and therefore, hybrid is a practical thinking for the Indian market right now. In three years, we will launch a mass model — affordable product in the hybrid range — not like Accord hybrid, with a few numbers.
Here are some reasons why we think that the next-gen City will be the first Honda car to be offered in affordable hybrid form,
1. The City has traditionally been the car through which Honda introduces new technology for mass market segments. From the sunroof to CVT automatic and paddle shifters, the City has typically been Honda’s choice for introducing new tech.
2. In the past, reports stating that the next-gen City and Jazz models will offer full hybrid powertrains have emerged, and the latest statement from the Honda CEO seems to point in this direction.
3. The Honda City is already available in hybrid form (Grace Hybrid) in certain markets of the world. Technology is already readily available with Honda, and it’s just a matter of bringing it to the Indian market with a localization strategy in place.
4. The Honda City has traditionally been a segment leader in the technology it offers in India. However, this status is now taken by the likes of the Maruti Ciaz, Toyota Yaris and Hyundai Verna. To make a big comeback, the next-gen City is likely to get a full hybrid powertrain.
Currently, Honda offers the City with two engine options – a 1.5 liter i-VTEC petrol with 117 Bhp-145 Nm, and a 1.5 liter i-DTEC turbocharged diesel with 98.6 Bhp-200 Nm. The petrol engine is offered with 5 speed manual and CVT automatic gearbox options while the diesel engine gets a 6 speed manual as standard. The next-gen City is likely to be offered with a 1.5 liter petrol engine and electric motor combination for the hybrid version.