Honda Malaysia has announced that sales of the City RS e:HEV have officially begun. The hybrid was launched alongside the petrol variants when the fifth-gen City made its local debut in October last year and was slated to go on sale in January. However, its market introduction was delayed, and it wasn’t until yesterday that its arrival today was hinted at, when the company debuted its Honda Connect vehicle telematics system.

First off, the price, which the company said last year would be announced when the car went on sale. The range-topping City RS e:HEV is priced at RM105,950, on-the-road without insurance, but with the sales tax exemption that is in place until June 30.

This makes the Road Sailing variant more than RM19k costlier than the top-spec petrol version, the V, which goes for RM86,561. The other variants in the four-model City range available locally consists of the E and S petrol versions, priced at RM81,664 and RM74,191 respectively.

A recap on what’s to be found on the RS. The variant features an exclusive styling pack that consists of a gloss black front grille with a honeycomb mesh, carbon-pattern trim on the front lip and rear diffuser, sporty front fog lamp garnish as well as mirror covers and a ducktail spoiler finished in gloss black. It’s also the only City to ride on dual-tone 16-inch alloy wheels (185/55 tyres) and come with rear disc brakes.

Standard equipment includes automatic LED headlamps, LED daytime running lights and fog lamps as well as LED rear lights. Also on, keyless entry with push start, single-zone auto air-conditioning, rear air-con vents, steering audio buttons and an 8.0-inch touchscreen head unit with (wired) Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity with an eight-speaker audio system.

Unique to the RS is a 7.0-inch digital meter panel with hybrid-specific displays, part leather and “Ultrasuede” seats, red stitching (steering wheel, gear lever area, centre tunnel and dashboard), a deceleration selector paddle for i-MMD and aluminium sport pedals. The RS is also the only variant to feature a black headliner and an auto-brake hold feature.

The RS is powered by a intelligent multi-mode drive (i-MMD) powertrain, which replaces the previous generation i-DCD. The system consists of a 1.5 litre Atkinson-cycle DOHC i-VTEC four-cylinder engine with 98 PS and 127 Nm, working in conjunction with two motors. The engine 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 108 PS and 253 Nm, sends drive to the wheels. However, the engine can provide direct drive during high speeds as it’s more efficient than the motor in that situation. Performance figures include a 0-100 km/h time of 9.9 seconds and a 173 km/h top speed, and fuel consumption is rated at 3.77 litres per 100 km, or 26.5 km/l.

Safety-wise, the RS is equipped with six airbags, VSA, hill start assist, emergency stop signal and the automaker’s LaneWatch left-side camera. It’s also the only City variant to come with Honda Sensing, which makes its debut in the segment for Honda in Malaysia.

The full suite of driver assist and active safety kit includes Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Collision Mitigation Braking System (autonomous emergency braking, or AEB), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and 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 RS is also the first Honda model to feature Honda Connect locally. The vehicle telematics system offers users access to a variety of safety, security and convenience functions via a dedicated smartphone app, which is available for both Android and iOS devices. This allows owners to remain connected to their cars anywhere and anytime.

Three exterior colours are available for the City RS e:HEV, and they are Modern Steel Metallic, Passion Red Pearl and Platinum White Pearl. The car comes with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty with five times free labour service, while the hybrid’s lithium-ion battery comes with a separate eight-year, unlimited mileage warranty.

GALLERY: Honda City RS e:HEV