Honda announced the official debut of its Jazz Hybrid in Thailand, marking the Japanese automaker's continued efforts to broaden its hybrid-vehicle production outside of Japan.

The hybrid version of the Jazz, known as the Fit in the U.S., is gaining popularity in Asian markets outside of Japan, hence the new production markets. Honda said the Jazz Hybrid, which pairs an 88-horsepower gas engine with a 14-horsepower electric motor, uses 4.7 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers, which equals about 50 miles per gallon. In the U.S., the EPA rates the most-efficient 2012 Fit, the 1.5-liter 5-speed automatic, at 31 combined mpg, 28 in the city and 35 on the highway.

Earlier this month, Honda broke ground on a Malaysian factory line that will include Jazz Hybrid production. Honda's looking to more than double annual Jazz Hybrid sales in Malaysia to more than 10,000 units.

The Nikkei reported in May that Honda would take Jazz Hybrid production to Thailand. The Thai auto industry, the world's 12th largest, took a massive hit with last year's flood that killed more than 800 people. Plants owned by both Honda and Toyota suffered damage, though both have since reopened.
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Honda announces the new Jazz Hybrid, the first hybrid model in the Thai sub-compact automobile market segment, highlighting a new trend: "Anyone Can Go Hybrid"
  • First hybrid car in the Thai sub-compact car market segment
  • Free 5-year warranty on hybrid system including electric motor, IPU, hybrid battery and wiring, with no mileage limit, Qualifies for the first-car tax rebate
  • Smart technology with Eco Assist that guides energy-saving driving
BANGKOK, Thailand, July 26, 2012 - Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd. has announced the official launch of the new Jazz Hybrid, Thailand's first Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid automobile in the sub-compact market segment. This innovative new model is ideal for Thai people who want to live modern and environmentally-positive lifestyles. Designed under the "advanced and clean concept", the new Jazz Hybrid has a sleek acrylic and plated grille, a new headlight and taillight design with blue clear lenses and plating, and a comprehensive range of interior features. The new Honda Jazz Hybrid also comes with intelligent Eco Assist technology designed to help the driver maintain a fuel-efficient driving style, plus a display system that encourages optimum fuel-saving performance for all driving styles. The new Honda Jazz Hybrid is available in four colors including Brilliant White, Alabaster Silver, Fresh Lime Green and Cerulean Blue, complemented by black and dark blue interior colors.

Jazz Hybrid
According to Pitak Pruittisarikorn, Executive Vice President, Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd., "The new Honda Jazz Hybrid we are launching in Thailand today is an unrivalled Honda innovation, powered by hybrid technology working together with a 1.3 liter i-VTEC intelligent engine. It is the first and only hybrid in the current Thai sub-compact market segment, meeting this category's need for an environmentally-friendly automobile with low CO2 emissions. We believe Thai customers who want a green driving experience will warmly welcome this innovative new model. The Honda Jazz Hybrid is sporty and fun to drive, with fantastic fuel economy, roomy comfort, convenient controls and the flexibility for almost any type of use. Its interior is more spacious than other vehicles in the same category. Most importantly, the new Honda Jazz Hybrid is the affordable hybrid car that anyone can own. Honda is committed to clean energy innovations and increasing the use of alternative energy to ensure a sustainable future, which reflects our corporate environmental vision of 'Blue Skies for Our Children' and is in line with Honda's global efforts to reduce CO2 emissions by 30 percent by 2020. This reflects our philosophy of being a company that society wants to exist by sharing the joy of using our products with the highest customer satisfaction, affordable prices, and low carbon emissions that reflect Honda's Vision 2020."

Shingo Nagamine, Large Project Leader (LPL) of Honda Jazz IMA, Honda R & D Co., Ltd., Japan said, "Our goal in developing the new Jazz Hybrid was to create a small and efficient car suitable for many uses, with improved technical innovations and outstanding fuel economy. Based on the advanced & clean concept, the new Honda Jazz Hybrid is an ideal blend of two unique technologies; an advanced body design with the fuel tank placed in the center plus an ultra-thin electric motor and compact Intelligent Power Unit (IPU), both of which provide the most efficient weight distribution. The new Honda Jazz has a parallel hybrid system that works in tandem with the i-VTEC engine to move the vehicle. The parallel hybrid system is simple and lightweight to enhance driving performance and fuel economy. The i-VTEC engine generates the primary power, working together with the electric motor through the transmission to drive the wheels directly, maintaining fun and superior driving performance.

The compact IPU is located under the floorboard of the rear cargo area, which means the Jazz Hybrid has the same fully-adjustable seating configuration as the gasoline-powered model and the same spacious area for optimum utilization and storage. Today, Honda is unveiling the result of our approach – a new sub-compact hybrid that embraces the new values in the Thai market today," added Nagamine.

The new Honda Jazz Hybrid delivers fun-to-drive performance with the carefully-matched combination of the 1.3 liter I-VTEC engine that generates up to 88 horsepower (at 5,800 rpm, with 121 N-m of torque at 4,500 rpm) and the IMA electric motor that produces 14 horsepower (at 1,500 rpm, with 78 N-m of torque at 1,000 rpm). The engine provides most of the propulsion, with supplementary energy from the electric motor enhancing start-off performance and the demands of acceleration and overtaking. When driving speed is low and steady, the engine stops and the vehicle moves to EV mode, powered solely by the electric motor. There are no CO2 emissions while in EV mode. During braking, the engine stops as braking energy is dynamically converted into electric power, then stored in the hybrid battery for future use. When the vehicle is stationary, the engine and electric motor automatically switch to standby in idling stop to reduce fuel consumption. The Honda Jazz Hybrid's IMA technology delivers fuel consumption of 21.3 kilometers per liter (or 4.7 liter/100 kilometer) and reduces CO2 emissions to 110 grams per kilometer, according to Honda's internal tests.

The Honda Jazz Hybrid's key features include a stylish new front grille, innovative blue headlights and tail lamps with chrome accents available only on the hybrid model, 15" Max-alloy wheels, automatic air conditioning, an Econ-Meter and instruments that show charging and power enhancement generated by the electric motor. Other key features include audio system controls on the steering wheel, an audio module with USB and AUX connectivity, a storage box beneath the rear seat, a multi-purpose storage area in the middle console, a spacious cargo area and fully adjustable seating. With its G-Con body structure, the new Honda Jazz Hybrid integrates standard safety equipment including Dual SRS front airbags, an anti-braking system (ABS) and electronic brake-force distribution (EBD).

In addition, Honda offers a 5-year warranty with no mileage limit for the fully-integrated IMA Hybrid system, including the electric motor, IPU, hybrid battery and wiring. First-time car buyers who choose a new Honda Jazz Hybrid will also qualify for the Thai government's first-car tax rebate.

"Honda is committed to developing automobiles powered by clean energy under our environmental policy. Worldwide, Honda strives to protect the environment by reducing CO2 emissions to help ensure a clean and green future for the new generation," concluded Pitak.