Honda’s Latest Sedan: Honda City Hybrid Can Give 1000 Kms On Full Tank! India Launch? Price?
Honda will take the wraps off of the City Hybrid on April 14.
When it is launched, it will be branded as ‘Honda City e:HEV’.
It is set to be the first strong hybrid in its class in India and will likely be among the most fuel-efficient cars in the country.
ARAI pegs the fuel efficiency at at least 25-26kpl.
For reference, the Maruti Suzuki Celerio AMT is currently the most fuel-efficient car in India, with a claimed ARAI rating of 26.68kpl.
Combined with the car’s 40-litre fuel tank, the City Hybrid could have a range of around 1,000km- significantly more than any other car in its class.
Under The Hood
The City Hybrid will come in two variants – V and ZX.
It is built using cutting-edge technology with the aim of delivering maximum fuel efficiency.
It uses two powerful electric motors paired to an Atkinson Cycle 1.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine.
One motor functions mainly as an electric generator, while the other handles propulsion.
The system is programmed to keep the engine operating at its peak efficiency, somewhere around 2,000rpm.
It is crucial to keep the engine working at lower RPM because by the time the engine reaches 4,000rpm, it could be using twice as much fuel.
For better efficiency Honda has removed the transmission.
It has no CVT, no planetary gearset, and no set of gear wheels either.
Instead, it has a single direct gear for high-speed driving.
Taking the place of the gearbox are two electric motors that are sandwiched together and attached to the end of the engine.
The electricity produced by the motor-generator is stored in a battery located in the boot.
Power from the engine is not sent directly to the wheels but to the electric generator, which then stores the generated electricity in the battery.
The battery in turn sends power to the electric motor to turn the wheels.
Hence, 95 percent of the energy generated is utilised, as the electricity is first stored in the battery before making it to the wheels.
For perspective even the most fuel efficient petrol engine can only manage 40 or 45 percent efficiency.
It is only at higher speeds, above 120kph, that the engine is directly connected to the front wheels.
With the City Hybrid, Honda could be targeting pure EVs like MG ZS EV and Tata Nexon EV which offer a claimed range of 461km and 321km respectively
It runs on a 1.5-litre petrol that makes 98hp and runs a more efficient ‘Atkinson cycle’.
It is assisted by an electric motor that puts out 109hp.
The maximum combined power output is not disclosed.
However, the engine makes a maximum torque of 127Nm, while the electric motor makes 253Nm.
It should be noted that the City Hybrid is about 110kg heavier than the standard car.
The hybrid version will likely have similar equipment as the regular sedan.
However, the hybrid gets Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technology, with features like lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control on the top-spec City e:HEV ZX variant.
The only other cars in the price bracket to get ADAS are MG Astor and Mahindra XUV700.
Hyundai will introduce the same with the Creta facelift.
Price, Launch, Competition
City e:HEV will be significantly more expensive than the regular 5th-gen City sedan
Expect prices to be in the ballpark of Rs 22 lakh-25 lakh.
With this price tag, it is poised to take on the more powerful 1.5 TSI variants of the Volkswagen Virtus and Skoda Slavia.
The regular City sedan competes against the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and the Hyundai Verna.
Although its unveiling will take place in April, it is expected to go on sale sometime in May 2022.