A rendered version of what the fourth-generation Honda Jazz may look like

Honda is taking its electrification efforts more seriously now, with Honda Europe senior vice president Tom Gardner revealing that the next-generation Jazz, which is tipped to be unveiled next month at the Tokyo Motor Show, will be introduced in the continent with hybrid technology as the sole powertrain option.

Previously, we reported that the new Jazz will be next in line to receive the company’s i-MMD dual-motor hybrid system, which is essentially the same Sport Hybrid Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive powertrain as the Accord Hybrid and CR-V Hybrid. On the bigger cars, the system comprises a 2.0 litre Atkinson-cycle i-VTEC petrol engine that’s married to a pair of electric motors and a lithium-ion battery to deliver a total system output of 184 PS and 315 Nm of torque.

Granted, the Jazz won’t be powered by the same 2.0 litre system, but i-MMD works without having a transmission. Instead, the engine will drive an electric motor/generator in Hybrid Drive mode; thus powering the drive motor, which in turn drives the wheels. In Engine Drive mode, a lock-up clutch connects the engine to a single-ratio gearbox to drive the wheels directly, improving efficiency at highway speeds. Expect an EV mode (pure electric driving) to be available on the Jazz as well.

Fundamentally, the i-MMD system is completely different from the Sport Hybrid i-DCD system found on the current City and Jazz, and that the newer unit is more refined than conventional hybrid systems with planetary gearset, such as that used on the Toyota Prius (a system Toyota calls an electronic continuously variable transmission, or eCVT). Honda engineers have also ensured that the transition between drive modes will be smooth and seamless. Sounds exciting, no? What do you think of this?