Honda has introduced the new Jazz, which is only offered as a hybrid in Europe. The market launch is scheduled for summer this year.
You can recognise the new Jazz by its e:HEV logo. The latest version of the small car has also already gone on sale in Japan under the name Honda Fit. In Germany, for example, the Jazz will be available from 22,000 euros and the Crosstar version from 26,250 euros.
The Jazz e:HEV, as the model is officially called, is a full hybrid with two electric motors that are intended as the primary propulsion motors. One is known as the TRC engine, the other as the GEN engine – i.e. the traction engine for propulsion and the generator engine for energy recovery. In hybrid mode, the generator produces electricity via the combustion engine and via recuperation, which is either temporarily stored in the battery or directly transmitted to the traction motor next to it. In a small window, approximately between 80 and 100 km/h, it may be more efficient for the gasoline engine to drive the wheels directly. In other cases, Honda expects higher efficiency from the conversion to electrical energy. Unfortunately, Honda does not yet mention the performance data of the machines and the characteristic values of the battery.
The hybrid drive e:HEV in the new Jazz combines a 1.5-litre DOHC i-VTEC gasoline engine with the two electric machines mentioned above. The new Jazz has a system output of 80 kW, can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.4 seconds and has a top speed is 175 km/h.
In total, the Jazz e:HEV offers three driving modes: In EV Drive, an electric motor drives the vehicle directly. The necessary energy comes from an unspecified lithium-ion battery. In Hybrid Drive the petrol engine drives the second electric motor, which acts as a generator and produces power for the electric drive motor. In Engine Drivemode, the gasoline engine is connected directly to the wheels via a lock-up clutch.
The new Jazz with its hybrid drive is an integral part of Honda’s electric mobility strategy, the manufacturer insists. This strategy envisages the electrification of all volume models in Europe by 2022. The Honda e also plays a central role in this strategy. Four more models will follow by 2022, including a “stylish SUV” and another all-electric car. Honda is also relying on various partnerships for its electric offensive. In a joint venture with Hitachi, the car manufacturer develops and builds the electric motors for its e-models. Ubitricity (AC charging on the road), Moixa (AC charging at home) and EVTEC (bidirectional DC charging) are supplying the corresponding chargers and software for charging.