The Honda Jade RS has just gone on sale in Japan, powered by the company’s new 1.5 litre VTEC Turbo engine. Oh yes, it’s a performance-oriented Honda MPV! Well, kind of, at least.

Honda says the VTEC Turbo unit provides “powerful and smooth acceleration by generating torque equivalent to that of a 2.4 litre engine.” In numbers, the 1.5 litre unit makes 150 PS at 5,500 rpm and 203 Nm of torque between 1,600 to 5,000 rpm, the same state of tune used in the 2015 StepWGN.

The Jade RS’ force-inducted, direct-injection engine is claimed to return as much as 18.0 km per litre (in JC08 test cycle), which is reasonably below the Jade Hybrid’s 25.0 km per litre average. Only one transmission is offered: a CVT with paddle shifters (seven-speed mode) that has been specially tuned for the new turbo engine.

Other than the new engine and gearbox (the hybrids get Honda’s seven-speed dual-clutch unit), the RS also boasts an uprated suspension setup (15% stiffer up front, 20% rear) and an electronic Agile Handling Assist (AHA) system that adds brake vectoring through corners. The chassis has been reinforced too, through the addition of an under-floor tunnel brace.

On the outside, the Honda Jade RS gains a mesh front grille with an RS emblem, dark-chrome highlights on the foglamps, door handles and rear garnish, as well as a set of unique 17-inch wheels. The interior too has been dressed up slightly, now featuring red contrast stitching and alloy foot pedals.

On the showroom floor, however, it’s actually the runt of the range, priced cheaper than the two existing Jade Hybrid variants – 2.53 million yes (RM75k) vs the hybrid’s 2.72 million to 2.92 million yen (RM81k-87k) price range. Now, wouldn’t it be nice to see this six-seat MPV here in Malaysia?

GALLERY: Honda Jade Hybrid