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Here’s a gallery of the new Honda Jazz Hybrid (Fit Hybrid in Japan), brought to you during a visit to the company’s new Yorii plant at the Saitama factory. The vehicle is the first to be equipped with Honda’s new Sport Hybrid Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive (i-DCD) one-motor hybrid system.

At the heart of things are a 110 PS/134 Nm 1.5 litre i-VTEC Atkinson-cycle engine, a 29.5 PS/160 Nm electric motor built into a seven-speed twin-clutch ‘box, and a lithium-ion battery. Unlike the previous IMA-equipped car, this one can go full electric – it automatically switches between EV Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive depending on driving conditions. Off-the-line starts are done in EV mode.

A new electric servo braking system increases regeneration efficiency to the lithium-ion battery, while a fully-electric compressor reduces engine load. These contribute towards a significant 35% improvement in fuel efficiency to 36.4 km per litre – the highest of any vehicle available in Japan excluding plug-in hybrids.

Launched in Japan in September, the third-gen Honda Jazz also debuts the company’s ‘Solid Wing Face’ – the design identity that will be applied in stages to other Honda models around the world. It retains its clever interior packaging and centre fuel tank layout, and the audio and climate controls have been replaced by a touch-screen panel and a touch-pad respectively.

The latest news from Honda is the announcement of a new VTEC TURBO engine line-up comprising a 1.0 litre three-cylinder, a 1.5 litre four-cylinder and a 2.0 litre four-cylinder, all with direct injection and forced induction. The 2.0 litre will give the upcoming Honda Civic Type R hatch 280 horses to play with!

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