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Honda’s Electrified City Goes On Sale In Thailand


Honda has been mulling over a mass market hybrid for India, and the City hybrid might just fit the bill

 

  • i-MMD (Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive) hybrid powertrain combines twin electric motors and a 1.5-litre petrol engine.

  • Electric motor makes 109PS/253Nm, whereas the 1.5-litre petrol delivers 98PS/127Nm.

  • Paired with a CVT gearbox, it’s around 10kmpl more fuel efficient than the standard India-spec petrol City at 27.8kmpl.

  • Expect an India launch in 2021 to make it the new top-spec City variant in the lineup.

Back in August, Honda had revealed a hybrid iteration of the fifth-generation City sedan. And now, the sedan is on sale in Thailand. Offered in the sole RS trim at a price tag of 839,000 baht (Rs 20.42 lakh), it’s a premium of around 100,000 baht (Rs 2.43 lakh)  over the standard petrol powered RS variant. Here’s what differentiates the two trims:

The biggest difference between the two City RS trims are under the hood. While the standard RS utilises a 3-cylinder, 1.0-litre VTEC turbo-petrol engine, the e:HEV is powered by a i-MMD (Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive) hybrid powertrain that combines twin electric motors and a 1.5-litre petrol engine. The most powerful motor makes 109PS and 253Nm, whereas the petrol mill makes 98PS and 127Nm. Paired to a CVT transmission, the City e:HEV RS hybrid boasts fuel efficiency of 27.8kmpl. That’s around 10kmpl more than the India-spec standard petrol City's 18.4kmpl (CVT).

Powertrains aside, the City hybrid RS looks unchanged from the standard RS, with design highlights such as a honeycomb mesh front grille, a sportier front bumper, boot lid spoiler, and dual-tone 16-inch alloy wheels. But Honda has given it additional features in the form of an electric parking brake with auto hold, Honda’s Lane Watch Camera, and Honda Sensing range of safety features. That last one includes Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist and auto high-beam.

 

Back home, we expect the hybrid iteration of the City to be introduced by 2021, most likely becoming the new top of the line variant. That said, the hybrid variant might not be the RS trim, instead just an upgrade over the ZX trim. Expect a similar premium like the Thai-spec City hybrid received, which is over Rs 2 lakh. The priciest top-spec ZX diesel variant in India is priced at Rs 14.64 lakh (ex-showroom). The standard Honda City currently rivals the VW Vento, Skoda Rapid, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Hyundai Verna and the Toyota Yaris

 

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