More details of the 2020 Honda City – in its range-topping RS e:HEV variant form – have emerged. At the recent visit to Honda Malaysia’s assembly plant in Pegoh, Melaka, the company showcased production of the fifth-generation B-segment sedan ahead of its market debut next month and also offered more info on the particular variant with the intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) hybrid powertrain, part of an expected four-model line-up for Malaysia.

First up, general dimensions. The new City measures in at 4,553 mm long, 1,748 mm wide and 1,467 mm tall, making it 111 mm longer, 54 mm wider and 10 mm lower than its predecessor. The wheelbase dimensions haven’t been revealed, nor has kerb weight and other relevant numbers.

Exterior-wise, specifications include new LED headlights (only for RS and V), LED daytime running lights and new LED tail lamps. The Road Sailing variant comes with additional dress-up kit in the form of a gloss black front grille, a carbon-pattern front lip, a diffuser on the rear bumper as well as mirror covers and a ducktail spoiler finished in gloss black. The RS is the only variant to ride on 16-inch dual-tone alloy wheels, with the rest of the model range featuring single-tone silver wheels.

The company still hasn’t decided to reveal the interior of the local model, but we know that there will be rear-air-con vents, and the RS will come with an electric parking brake, the only variant to have it. Elsewhere, a remote engine start function (as seen on the Civic) for the variant is a segment first.

As previously highlighted, the City will feature Honda Sensing. This suite of active safety features is not available in Thailand, meaning that Malaysia will be the first market in ASEAN to get the system on the City.

It was not detailed earlier if the City would come with the full complement, but we can now report that it will on the RS. The Sensing suite consists of:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
  • Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
  • Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
  • Road Departure Mitigation (RDM)
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  • Auto High-Beam (AHB)

Although the Low Speed Follow (LSF) function has been omitted, the Sensing suite on the City gets a wider view camera to better recognise road boundaries, and the system now comes with pedestrian and cyclist detection capability.

The car will also get Honda’s LaneWatch side-camera system, and from what we’ve gathered, LaneWatch will also be found on the variant just below the RS, the V grade, similar in execution to the HR-V, although the SUV doesn’t feature Sensing.

The exterior colours for the car have also been revealed, and there are five to choose from, namely Modern Steel Metallic, Passion Red Pearl, Platinum White Pearl, Crystal Black Pearl and Lunar Silver Metallic.

Otherwise, the rest of the info so far has been what was divulged previously. In terms of powertrain, Malaysia will be the first country in the world to offer the City with the two-motor i-MMD hybrid system, which is currently only offered on the Jazz.

The hybrid system consists of a 98 PS/127 Nm 1.5 litre Atkinson-cycle i-VTEC four-cylinder engine, which does not power the car but functions mainly as a generator with the help of an integrated electric motor (which also acts as a starter).

A larger second motor, which churns out 109 PS and 253 Nm, provides propulsion. As explained previously, because the electric motor mostly drives the car, the i-MMD system does away with a traditional gearbox, but the engine can provide direct drive at higher speeds using a lock-up clutch and a single-speed transmission, as it is more efficient than an electric motor at those speeds.

Aside from the hybrid, the City will be available as a petrol-only model, powered by a new twin-cam (DOHC) 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated i-VTEC mill, which for the Indian market offers 121 PS and 145 Nm, paired with a CVT. While specific variant grades – or any hint of pricing – haven’t been revealed, it’s safe to expect the usual S, E and V variants when the time comes.