Next-gen Honda City spotted in India, reportedly getting e:HEV hybrid variants

ElectricVehicleWeb reader Deepak Jain has shared exclusive images of the next-generation 2020 Honda City testing on the Delhi-Ambala highway. Honda Cars India started road testing and evaluation of the prototypes this year and since then the car has been spotted many times in other locations.

2020 Honda City spotted in India
The 7th generation Honda City world premieres in Thailand on Monday (25 November) and is expected to launch in India only after April 2020.

Honda has confirmed the world premiere of the new 7th generation Honda City for the 25th of November in Thailand. In the teaser, the company says “The new challenge for the Honda City is its mission to exceed past success and break free from old beliefs and limits, unlocking Honda City’s potential to create a new phenomenon beyond all possibilities you can imagine.” The same version will be introduced in India.

Honda Thailand has confirmed a massive 33% improvement in fuel efficiency, “better performance, cooler and sportier (design), and greater elegance and roominess” on the new City. The big jump in fuel efficiency is possible only if there is some form of electrification to the combustion engine.

2020 Honda City rear three quarter test prototype India
The new City gets a dual tone interior with three adjustable rear headrests signifying a further improvement in rear seat comfort.

Reports published preceding the launch have also talked about hybrid technology on the new sedan. While the current 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol could be the default option, higher variants are expected featuring this engine coupled with Honda’s new 2-motor e:HEV mild-hybrid system (a smaller version of Honda’s i-MMD tech), which debuted on the all-new Jazz last month. Honda has said that models that use the e:HEV will be driven mostly with the electric motor, bringing them close to electric vehicles.

Honda explains e:HEV as “a newly-established communication name for Honda’s 2-motor hybrid system, which is positioned as Honda’s core electrification technology and a hybrid system for this new era, for vehicles driven mostly with an electric motor.” The company has not released an update after the Tokyo Motor Show on this technology.

2020 Honda City teaser 25 November unveil Thailand
The new Honda City, as confirmed by Honda Thailand in the video teaser, enjoys a 33% higher fuel efficiency, not possible unless it uses a hybrid powertrain.

Reports in India last year said that a hybrid solution for the new Honda City was “defined” and that the company was also developing an electric vehicle for the mass-market B segment for early next decade. The Maruti Ciaz is the only member in the C2 segment to offer an electrically-assisted powertrain (with the mild hybrid SHVS). If Honda Cars India integrates the e:HEV to the new City, it could potentially disrupt the segment with its fuel efficiency.

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