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Here’s a surprise – Honda Malaysia has teased the Honda Jazz Hybrid at the Mines International Exhibition and Convention Centre (MIECC) today. Its appearance here hints that the company is looking to introduce it here in the near future, perhaps as a locally-assembled (CKD) model to take advantage of the government’s Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) incentives.

Although the car seen here is camouflaged, we already know the details surrounding the mechanicals of the car, having been launched in Japan as early as 2013. Under the bonnet sits the company’s Sport Hybrid Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive (i-DCD) system, mating a 110 PS/134 Nm 1.5 litre i-VTEC Atkinson-cycle engine to a 29.5 PS/160 Nm electric motor, a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and a lithium-ion battery.

Unlike the previous car, which utilises the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system, the new model’s electric motor can not only assist the petrol engine under acceleration, but can also power the car all on its own. The system automatically switches between EV Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive depending on driving conditions, and off-the-line starts are done in EV mode.

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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 on the Japanese JC08 cycle – a record for non-plug-in hybrid vehicles in Japan until the introduction of the 40.8 km/l Toyota Prius this year.

The car seen here appears identical to the regular Jazz, losing out on the full-height, continuous-strip LED tail lights found on the Fit Hybrid in Japan. However, a peek through the heavily-tinted windows show that it does come with a stubby drive selector on the centre console, rather than the traditional CVT gearlever.

Looking around the cars engine bay and boot, we spotted warning labels written in both Thai and Bahasa Indonesia. This suggests that the car is not a Japanese-spec model simply brought over to gauge demand, but an ASEAN-specific model designed to be sold in the region.

This raises one of two possibilities. The first would be that the Jazz Hybrid would be built in Thailand and exported to the rest of the region, with the Malaysia plant in Pegoh, Melaka only handling assembly for the local market, in order to be eligible for EEV status.

On the other hand, Malaysia could possibly end up being the hub for Jazz Hybrid production for the ASEAN region, making us the first country outside Japan not only to sell the car through official channels, but also to build it. This would follow in the footsteps of Mazda and Volvo in assembling cars in Malaysia to be exported to other ASEAN markets, and would also make this Honda Malaysia’s first export model.

So, what do you think of the Honda Jazz Hybrid – could an attractive price sway you into buying one instead of the regular petrol-power models? Sound off in the comments section after the jump.