Honda ZEST

Honda has a few K-cars in the Japanese market like the Honda ZEST (shown above) and the Honda Life, but they’ve been reserved for the Japanese market so far. I actually drove the Honda ZEST with the turbocharged 660cc i-DSI engine last year during the visit to Honda’s R&D facility in Tochigi and it really felt quite zippy thanks to the turbocharger’s torque and the 4-speed automatic.

India’s Honda Siel has revealed that Honda is working on developing a new car smaller than the Honda Jazz for emerging markets – that’s pretty much markets such as the Indian and ASEAN market, so we may even see it in Malaysia as a contender to the likes of the Hyundai i10 and the Kia Picanto.

The powerplant is currently a question mark, but Honda Siel says the engine could possibly be under 1.0 litres in displacement. Honda has two 660cc engines – a normally aspirated version which produces 52hp at 6,700rpm and 61Nm of torque at 3,800rpm, and a turbo-ed version with a top-mounted intercooler making 64hp at 6,000rpm and 93Nm of torque at 4,000rpm.

Given that Honda’s Indian unit is the one revealing this juicy bit of info, India could most likely be the production base for the new car.