Premi Aqua 01

Toyota says that an improved version of its Aqua hybrid (JDM name for the Prius c) that will go on sale next week in Japan will reclaim the fuel-efficiency crown back from Honda’s Jazz Hybrid.

The latest Jazz Hybrid, which went on sale locally in September, is the most fuel-efficient conventional hybrid car in the market, excluding plug-in hybrids. It does 36.4 km per litre in the Japanese cycle, but the new Aqua will top that with 37 km/l, says Toyota. They eked out an extra 1.6 km/l by reducing frictional resistance in the engine and improving motor control.

Toyota will hope that this new round of improvements to its baby hybrid will help it better counter the Jazz Hybrid, which was Japan’s best selling car in October. The Aqua was last revised in May.

The new Aqua lineup will be priced from 1.7 million yen (RM53,544), just 10,000 yen (RM315) higher than the current car. The Japan Times also reported that Toyota will begin selling a sports model of the Aqua for 2.22 million yen (RM70k) from next month. Here’s hoping that it will look like the Premi Aqua concept in the pic above.

At the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota showed off four concepts that push the boundaries of what’s possible with the Aqua/Prius c, from a convertible to an SUV-styled version – see all of them here.