For those of you who aren’t aware, the Honda Jazz is the sister car to the U.S. specification Fit. Much like a Acura NSX was a Honda NSX in markets other than the U.S., Honda sells the Fit under the Jazz name in its home market, as well as, other geographies around the world. Recently, Autoweek reported that Honda would be debuting a Honda Jazz Hybrid at this year’s Paris Motor Show. Of course, the big question for those of us on this side of the pond is whether we will see the hybrid technology come in Fit badging.
Before we give away any more details on the future plans, let’s take a look at what the Jazz Hybrid is supposed to offer the automotive market. From what we understand, the Jazz will incorporate the Honda IMA hybrid system—a system found in the Insight and in the newer and sportier CR-Z. The electric power is said to come from a 13-hp electric motor with the gasoline power coming from a 1.3-liter engine that has an output of 88 hp. The targeted sales date for the Jazz Hybrid in Europe is early 2011. So where does that leave the U.S. market?
As happens a lot, Honda doesn’t have any immediate plans to market a Fit branded version in the U.S. One might speculate that is because the Insight didn’t sell very well here, but really that wasn’t because American’s don’t buy hybrids; no, it was mainly due to the competition having a better product, at least according to the sales figures. However, if the Jazz Hybrid proves to be a formidable competitor in Europe, then maybe we will see it come to our shores. Seems like it would be a nice package especially for commuters like me who do a lot of highway driving during the week and a lot of city driving during the weekends.