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Report: Honda to Advance Hybrid Fit for Japan to 2010

The Nikkei reports that Honda will release the hybrid version of its Fit subcompact in Japan in fall 2010, about 18 months ahead of the earlier schedule.

The company had initially planned to introduce the hybrid Fit in 2012, when the vehicle will be fully remodeled. Instead, it opted to develop the hybrid version based on the current subcompact and roll it out sooner to tap the anticipated market expansion.

The hybrid Fit is to be equipped with a 1.3-liter gasoline engine and the same type of hybrid system found in the Insight hybrid. It is expected to deliver a fuel mileage of more than 30km per liter [3.33 L/100km, 71 mpg US] which is similar to what the Insight hybrid offers.

Honda reportedly will sell the Fit hybrid for less than the Insight, and expects annual sales of more than 50,000 units.

The Nikkei also noted that Toyota will begin sales of two new hybrid models in Japan by the end of the year: the Lexus HS250h and the SAI, and plans to introduce a hybrid car that is smaller than the Prius hybrid in 2011.

In addition, Nissan will enter the Japan hybrid vehicle market with the hybrid version of its Fuga luxury sedan to be introduced next year.



"It is expected to deliver a fuel mileage of more than 30km per liter [3.33 L/100km, 71 mpg US] which is similar to what the Insight hybrid offers"

By that comparison I think they mean original Insight.

The Insight II is rated in Europe at ~4.5 l/100 km. I fail to see how the Fit could do 3.33 l/100 km using the same technology. It it not that much smaller than an Insight II. Or the 1.3 liter engine is some completely new marvel of efficiency, which I doubt.

Nat Pearre

I don't think they mean the old Insight, I think they mean the new one. The reason for the confusion is the difference in driving cycles between the US and Japan. Vehicles test much higher there than here, with the Prius III earning a Japanese rating of 89mpg, while the new Insight scores 70.5mpg.

So in other words, the hybrid Fit will get pretty close to 42mpg on the EPA test cycle.


You could ask if it is worthwhile hybridising the FIT.

It is already very efficient - certainly in Europe where they are mainly sold with manual transmissions and can get 53 mpg (UK).

I suppose it all comes down to cost (and bragging rights).
If you had a car that got 71mpg (US) you could really give out to people at dinner parties.


Thanks Nat, hadn't thought of that.

70.5 mpg = 3.33 l/100 km.

It would seem the Fit will have a hard time equalling the Insight on consumption. It might seem a smaller car, but it is exactly as wide as the Insight and 10 cm higher. Add a worse Cw and the aerodynamic drag is considerably higher. Perhaps it is lighter? The base Fit weighs only 50 kg less than the Insight. You might expect an increase in weight of the hybrid version, so not much to expect from that either. We'll see how Honda's gonna pull this trick.


It seems like the price point is the issue, the under $20k price is the big deal with the new Insight. America responds to this like they did with the VW Beetle and Datusn pickups. Make them low priced, inexpensive to operate and fun to drive, then stand back and watch them sell well.

Nick Lyons

Hybrid Fit will be a killer commuter car/city car--easy to maneuver through traffic, with big fuel savings from idle-stop during stop-and-go traffic and waiting at lights. As per SJC, combine the fun-to-drive factor with low operating costs and some hybrid halo and you have a potential blockbuster product.


the non hybrid Fit is about 220lb lighter than the Insight.

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