The Honda City e:HEV Hybrid has been revealed for Malaysia and its India-bound by mid-2021. The City hybrid will have a strong hybrid powertrain, one that can run on electric power alone. There will be two electric motors working along with an IC petrol engine.
Honda has revealed a new hybrid version of the City sedan for the Malaysian market and it is actually India-bound in 2021. Known as the i-MMD, this hybrid tech on the City has already been used on the international-spec Honda CR-V Hybrid and in the new-gen Honda Jazz sold abroad as well. The hybrid tech on the Honda City is unlike most other mild-hybrid techs we are used to seeing in some other cars sold here in India. Let us look at it in a little more detail.
Unlike Maruti Suzuki’s SHVS mild-hybrid system or even the mild-hybrid tech seen on the MG Hector and Hector Plus SUVs, where the petrol engine sends power to the wheels and the electric motor only assists, the hybrid tech on the Honda City e:HEV is much stronger. In case of the City, the electric motor directly sends drive to the wheels while the petrol engine assists.
The i-MMD hybrid system on the City consists of two electric motors that work in conjunction with an internal combustion engine. There’s a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder, naturally aspirated Atkinson Cycle petrol engine which produces 98hp and 127Nm of torque. The first electric motor which is actually integrated in the petrol engine which assists and acts as an integrated starter-generator (ISG). Then there’s the second electric motor which itself produces 109hp and 253Nm of torque and directly sends drive to the front wheels via a bespoke gearbox with a single, fixed-gear ratio.
The hybrid system will also likely allow for three drive modes – one where only the electric motor is used, another where only the internal combustion engine is used (a lock-up clutch sends power to the wheels directly), and a third which uses a combination of both the IC engine and electric motor. This will allow the City to be extremely frugal where it can be using just the electric motors within the City limits and when out on the highway, the petrol engine can kick in to provide a much stronger performance.
In terms of styling, the new City e:HEV (as its being called there) looks a lot like the City RS that’s sold in some markets abroad. The grille gets an all-black treatment and the bumpers are also a tad bit sporty. There’s a e:HEV badge on the boot lid and the grille and just like the RS variant, the City hybrid is also expected to come with an all-black theme for the interiors. The Honda City hybrid is expected to launch in India by mid-2021.
When it arrives, the City hybrid will be very unique in its segment as no other mid-size sedan offers such strong hybrid performance in this price range. The closest rival the City hybrid will have is the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz which comes with a 12V dual-battery mild-hybrid setup that aids in fuel efficiency along with a little bit of boost. However, the Honda City is already the most expensive sedan in its segment and with an additional hybrid system, it sure wouldn’t be cheap. We expect prices for the Honda City hybrid to start from around Rs 15 lakh (ex-showroom).