Honda will expand its lineup of European eco road warriors starting in the spring with the introduction of the 2011 Honda Jazz Hybrid. Based on the same vehicle marketed here as the Fit, the new Jazz Hybrid is fitted with the same Honda IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) system used in the Insight hybrid -- a 1.3-liter/four-cylinder i-VTEC gasoline engine and the IMA package that makes a combined total of 98 horsepower. Paired with the CVT automatic transmission, the Honda Jazz Hybrid will deliver 53.4 mpg on the combined European test cycle.
Although its nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery pack and control unit are located under the rear cargo floor, Honda says the Jazz Hybrid retains all of the above-floor stow space of a conventional model as well as full functionality of its clever fold-away "Magic Seat." At the moment, Honda has no plans to bring a Jazz/Fit Hybrid to the U.S. Instead it intends to concentrate its hybrid marketing efforts on the Insight and new CR-Z models as well as on the new Civic Hybrid that's due when the next-gen Civic arrives here sometime in 2011.