With the government gradually relaxing the lockdown rules, the launch of the next-gen Honda City should be just round the corner and we expect it by early June. The current-gen City will continue as a petrol-only model.
If not for the lockdown and coronavirus pandemic, we would have already seen the fifth-generation Honda City launched in our market in April. However, with commercial activities ceasing completely for almost 45 days, it was not the right time for Honda to launch a car as important as the next-gen City. However, as government is gradually easing rules and regulations, the new City might just be round the corner. With a lot of relaxations already granted in Lockdown 4.0, we believe Honda will be in a position to launch the new City after May 31, as we enter the next phase of lockdown.
Essentially, the Honda City will be launched as soon as the lockdown has been lifted and we are expecting an early June launch. Speaking to carandbike, Rajesh Goel, Senior Vice President & Director, Marketing & Sales- Honda Cars India said, “We do not intend to delay the launch, but as we start up the ramp up is going to be slower and we can’t start at peak level, so that is going to have some significant impact. But if I can use the word, it is almost around the corner and once we can freeze the date, we will announce it to everybody.” The deliveries for the new car could however take a little more time as the manufacturer will need some time to ramp up production.
The fifth-gen Honda City is a evolution of the current-gen car in terms o design. The new sedan retains its overall profile to the outgoing model but is significantly more sophisticated and premium in terms of design. The face is dominated by a thick chrome grille and there new sharper LED headlamps as well. The car looks much more sleeker than before. On the inside however, the dashboard design is complete new with a more simplistic and minimalist design approach. It is also much better feature equipped than the current-gen car.
Under the hood, the new Honda City will be powered by 1.5L petrol and diesel engines. Although the 1.5L diesel engine is being carried over from the current-gen car, the 1.5L petrol engine is a completely new unit and comes with new twin-cam setup. The petrol engine has been tuned to produce 119hp and 145Nm of peak torque. The engine will come mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard along with an optional CVT automatic gearbox. The diesel engine will be updated to the BS6 norms and we expect it to continue producing 100bhp, just like the BS4-spec City. This engine too will come mated to the manual and CVT gearbox options.
Honda will also continue to sell the current-gen car along with the new City. However, the manufacturer has now confirmed that the current-gen car will be offered as a petrol-only model. It was also previously expected that the current-gen City will eventually find its way with fleet taxi operators but Honda has ruled out that option. With the arrival of the new car, the prices of the current-gen car will certainly go down but it will still only be available to private individuals. What Honda really intends to do is have a wider market appeal for the City operating at a much wider price range.