Here’s a surprise – the facelifted Honda Jazz, which has only just been launched in Japan, is already open for booking in Malaysia. For the first time, the car will be available in both petrol and Hybrid variants, with Malaysia being the first country outside Japan to introduce the latter.

The petrol variant, which is set to go on sale in the second quarter of this year, will likely soldier on with the same 1.5 litre i-VTEC four-cylinder engine that produces 120 PS at 6,600 rpm and 145 Nm at 4,600 rpm, mated to an Earth Dream continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Meanwhile, the Hybrid model that will follow the petrol model in the third quarter of 2017, utilises 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. Total system output is rated at 137 PS.

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.

A new electric servo braking system increases regeneration efficiency to the lithium-ion battery, while a fully-electric air-cond 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 last year.

Honda Malaysia has only released one teaser photo so far, showing the entire rear end of the car. As you can see, there’s a more angular rear bumper with a faux air vents and a diffuser-like rear valence in body colour. The front bumper has also been revised and includes a new chrome grille, while LED daytime running lights have been added as well.

Equipment-wise, all variants now get keyless entry and push-button start, with part-leather seats and a reverse camera also added to the kit list, presumably on the top-spec V variant. As with the facelifted City, expect stability control and hill-start assist to be fitted as standard across the range, with the V variant adding six airbags as before.

For now, you can enjoy a preview of what the car will eventually look like thanks to photos of the Honda Fit facelift revealed in Japan today.

GALLERY: JDM Honda Fit Hybrid facelift