The big story for the third-generation Fit Hybrid will be the fuel economy, naturally. Honda says it has achieved economy ratings of 36.4 kilometers per liter – 86 miles per gallon – on its home-market cycle, highest among all hybrid models in Japan and a 35-percent improvement over the current Fit Hybrid, a model not sold in the US.
Interestingly, the Fit brooms the company's underwhelming Integrated Motor Assist system in favor of a new single-motor e-assist system dubbed Sport Hybrid i-DCD, and it eschews a CVT like most hybrids in favor of a "dual clutch drive" (i-DCD) with seven speeds. The architecture can completely uncouple the 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine and the i-DCD's 22-kilowatt electric motor. The motor itself is backed by a lithium-ion battery that's integrated into the power unit, and Honda is also touting a new servo brake system and electric compressor that increases the efficacy of the regenerative braking while curbing engine load. The Fit Hybrid will be able to putter along at speeds of up to 31 mph in pure electric mode for 1.9 miles.
Honda says it has achieved economy ratings of 86 mpg on its home-market cycle.
Automotive News reports that while the Fit Hybrid seen here isn't expected to be sold in the US, the technology will come to America in the form of a subcompact sedan and crossover based on the Fit's architecture, as early as next year. The conventionally powered five-door Fit will be built in North America for the first time, and should hit dealers in the third quarter of next year. Built in Honda's new Ceyala, Mexico plant, the US car is likely to be offered with a 1.5-liter direct-injection engine paired to a CVT, both new components in Honda's Earth Dreams arsenal. A 1.3-liter port-injected powerplant is also expected to be fitted elsewhere in the world.
All-New Fit Hybrid Achieves Fuel Economy of 36.4 km/L, More than 35% Improvement - The all-new Fit Hybrid will be the first model to be equipped with SPORT HYBRID Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive, Honda's lightweight compact hybrid system -
TOKYO, Japan, July 19, 2013 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. achieved fuel economy of 36.4 km/L*1 (JC08mode) on the all new Fit Hybrid, which is the highest*2 among all hybrid models in Japan. The all-new Fit Hybrid is scheduled to be introduced and go on sale in Japan this September.
The all-new Fit Hybrid will be the first model to be equipped with the SPORT HYBRID*3 Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive (i-DCD), Honda's lightweight and compact one-motor hybrid system suited for small-sized vehicles. Although this is a one motor hybrid system, this system realized the EV drive by disengaging the engine and motor. The SPORT HYBRID i-DCD is one of the Earth Dreams Technology, Honda's new-generation powertrain technologies which realize both the fun of driving and excellent fuel economy at a high level.
Adopting a newly developed inline 4-cylinder 1.5L Atkinson cycle (high expansion ratio cycle) engine, the SPORT HYBRID i-DCD consists of a 7-speed DCT*4 system with a built-in high-output motor, and IPU (intelligent power unit) equipped with a built-in lithium-ion battery. Moreover, adopting an electric servo brake system that increases electrical regenerative efficiency and a fully-electric compressor that reduces engine load, the SPORT HYBRID i-DCD improves the vehicle's fuel economy by more than 35% compared to a current IMA hybrid system.
The SPORT HYBRID i-DCD automatically changes to three driving modes by engaging and disengaging the engine and motor depending on driving situations. The three driving modes are the EV Drive Mode for motor only driving, the Hybrid Drive Mode for both engine and motor driving and the Engine Drive Mode for engine only driving.
Featuring the highest fuel economy among all hybrid models in Japan, acceleration g-force more powerful than conventional models and rhythmic and linear acceleration feel, the SPORT HYBRID i-DCD realizes fun driving.
*1 Tested by Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
*2 Honda internal research, excluding plug-in hybrid models (as of July 2013)
*3 SPORT HYBRID is the collective name for Honda's newly developed advanced hybrid systems that adopt Earth Dreams Technology.
*4 Dual Clutch Transmission