New Honda Fit Hybrid (Japan-only model)Enlarge Photo
Hybrid models get not only the now-standard electric power steering, but also electrically operated air-conditioning compressors and water pumps, meaning a beltless engine with no power-sucking accessory drives.
DI engine, CVT for other Fits
Non-hybrid models of the 2015 Honda Fit will have 1.5-liter direct-injection engines and a new CVT, as detailed last November. A six-speed manual gearbox will also be offered.
Honda suggests the CVT powertrain will boost gas mileage about 10 percent, while reducing acceleration times by about 15 percent, compared to the current Fit engine with the five-speed automatic.
The U.S. is less likely to receive the Fit Hybrid, which may not gain EPA ratings sufficiently higher than the regular Fit to justify its increased cost.
Expanded range, built in Mexico
While the new Fit will go on sale in Japan and other markets this September, it won't appear in the U.S. until the 2015 model year.
That's because it will be assembled for North America in a new factory in Mexico, now under construction.
Production of the latest Fit five-door hatchback--along with a Fit four-door sedan and a new crossover previewed at the Detroit Auto Show, both on the same underpinnings, is expected to start sometime next year.
So far, there's no word on whether there will be a new-generation Honda Fit EV to succeed the current low-volume compliance car sold for the 2012 through 2014 model years.