Christmas has come early for Honda dealerships in Japan. As of today, the reliable Japanese automaker has launched its brand-new Honda Grace hybrid sedan for the JDM. This new Fit-based hybrid car is designed to offer the maneuverability of a compact with the interior space of a full-size sedan. We’ll talk more about how they did that below; for now, feast your eyes on the 2015 Honda Grace:
The Grace will also go on sale in Southeast Asia for the 2015 model year, although it will be called the Honda City in other markets.
Under the hood, you’ll find the Honda Fit’s Sport Hybrid i-DCD (Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive) system that pairs a 1.5 L Atkinson DOHC i-VTEC engine to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission with an integrated electric motor. The whole system is powered by an IPU, or “Intelligent Power Unit”, that uses a high-density lithium-ion battery. The whole system delivers about 138 hp, with 29 hp coming from the electric motor.
Combine that powertrain with a lightweight compact design, and you’ll find the Honda Grace delivers a class-leading 80.9 mpg. Even if you opt for the all-wheel-drive version, you’ll still enjoy a generous 69.1 mpg.
Now, back to Honda’s original goal… How did they create such an expansive interior cabin inside the body of a Fit-based compact sedan?
Honda tells us that the secret behind the cabin is an extra-long wheelbase and moving back the rear seats as far as they can go. This sacrifices trunk space in favor of Accord-level rear-passenger space, but you’ll still get a modest 430 liters of boot space even with those extended rear seats. They also enlarged the rear-passenger doors to make the car easier to enter and exit.
All in all, the Honda Grace looks like an excellent new hybrid offering. It’s stylish and modern design, comfortable interior cabin and class-leading fuel economy make it a deal that we’re sure most Japanese drivers will have a hard time passing up.
If you’d like to read more about the all-new Honda Grace, click here to read the official press release.
Japanese Car Auction Find – 2013 Honda Fit Hybrid
Want the fuel economy of the Honda Grace, but the trunk space of the Fit hatchback? Good thing Honda already makes a Honda Fit Hybrid! Since their hatchbacks are such popular Japanese cars, you can find plenty of them up for auction in the Integrity Exports database.
This particular model is a 2013 Honda Fit Hybrid L Package, which uses the same 1.5L i-DSD powertrain as the new Grace sedan. You can read more about this find below the auction sheet:
“Interior A, exterior condition A, first registered October 2013, DAA emissions code, L Package, FAT, AAC, maker original in-dash navigation system, rear view reversing camera, steering wheel switches, Anshin * pack, smart key, LED lighting, electrical retraction mechanism on mirrors, half-leather seats, original navigation system, original TV, airbags, power steering, power windows, minor scratches on interior trim, marks as per map”
* Anshin means peace of mind in Japanese.