New 2014 Honda Fit (Jazz) Hybrid Officially Revealed

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Honda has just released the first official images and info for the new 2014 Honda Fit. Given that the Fit is one of the Japanese brand’s best-selling global models, this is quite significant. It’s even bigger news when you consider that the new hybrid technology in the Fit will be used across multiple model ranges for the next several years. In fact, according to Automotive News, Honda hopes that their new hybrid drivetrain will finally allow them to legitimately compete with Toyota.

New Honda Fit

2014 Fit Showcases Future Design Language

Even though the technology inside the 2014 Honda Fit is by far the most important part of the new vehicle (which is why we’ll talk about it in-depth below), the most obvious changes are the ones seen on the subcompact’s exterior. As we all know, Honda is a brand known for bland, but reliable vehicles. The 2014 Fit is the first car to showcase how Honda plans to change their flavorless reputation.

I’ll leave it up to you to dissect all the intricacies of the new styling, but the main themes include aggressive body lines and a hard-cut front end, with a slightly reworked rear end, too. While we still don’t have excellent inside images of the new Fit, we’ve seen enough to confirm that these edgier, more contemporary styling cues carry over to the interior of the car.

A Hybrid Powertrain Fit to Challenge Toyota

With the design out of the way, let’s talk about what’s really important in the 2014 Honda Fit hybrid – the technology. Mechanically inclined readers may recall that current hybrid verions of the Fit use a system called Integrated Motor Assist, which was integral in Honda’s development of regenerative braking. However, IMA has fallen out of favor over the past several years because of the more powerful and efficient options from Toyota and GM.

The 2014 Fit introduces the next chapter in Honda’s hybrid technology – Sport Hybrid Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive, or Sport Hybrid i-DCD for short. Apparently, this new system allows Honda’s hatchback to achieve a 35% increase in fuel economy, which equates to an estimated 85 miles per gallon. This is the highest fuel economy of any hybrid car sold in Japan.

One of the key new features enabled by the i-DCD technology is the ability to disengage the engine and the electric motor, which allows the Fit to shift between three different modes of driving. Depending on “driving situations”, the 2014 Fit Hybrid will automatically adjust between EV Drive Mode, Hybrid Drive Mode and Engine Drive Mode. Additionally, the Fit includes a new servo-brake system coupled with an electric compressor that simultaneously reduces engine load and improves regenerative braking.

Unfortunately for our US readers, the Honda Fit hybrid is unlikely to ever make it onto North American shores because of lack of interest. Automotive News reports that Honda’s total hybrid sales through 2013 come to just over 9,000 units in the US, which is ~10% decrease from the same time period in 2012. The petrol-powered Fit will make it into dealerships around Q3 next year, meanwhile the hybrid Fit is expected to launch in Japan by the end of 2013. Expect to see in-the-metal unveilings at one or both of the LA or Tokyo Auto Shows later this year.

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