Thursday, February 17, 2011

Honda Publishes New Photos and Info on European-spec Jazz Hybrid and Face-lifted Jazz Models

Honda today released full details and some 80 or so photos on the European-spec Jazz Hybrid and face-lifted conventional Jazz models, which will soon go on sale across the continent. Previewed at the 2010 Paris Auto Show, the Jazz Hybrid is said to be the first B-segment car fitted with a petrol-electric powertrain and it does it without compromising the cabin space and luggage compartment.

By mounting the battery pack under the boot floor, Honda managed to retain the Jazz’s flexible “Magic Seats” configuration, while offering a respectable 300-liter boot space that can be extended to a maximum of 1320 liters (measured to the roof). Thanks to the “Magic Seats” system, the seats fold entirely flat, while their bases can be folded up in order to create more space for tall objects. The eco-friendly version comes with a reclining rear seat that can be tilted back as well, further increasing the cabin’s flexibility.

The interior has been revamped and boasts a darker color theme, in contrast with the blue lighting of the instrument panel and center console. For the first time in Europe, the Jazz Hybrid can be also specified with leather upholstery.

From a design standpoint, the hybrid is set apart by its restyled headlights with chrome blue surrounds, front grille with similar chrome treatment, clear tail lamps and revised bumpers, accompanied by the new, Lime Green metallic exterior color.

Customers not happy with the standard look can opt for a series of Genuine Accessories to customize their cars, such as additional trim pieces and stickers, plus different alloy wheels. Other optional features include the SSD (Solid State Drive) navigation, Bluetooth connectivity and rear entertainment system.

At the heart of the Jazz Hybrid is Honda’s IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) powertrain shared with the Insight and CR-Z, comprising an 88HP 1.3-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and a 14HP electric motor, complemented by a CVT gearbox. The hybrid sprints to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 12.6 seconds and can reach a top speed of 177 km/h (110 mph), while consuming 4.5 lt/100 km (52.3 US mpg) on the combined cycle. Furthermore, Honda says that with emissions of just 104 g/km, the Jazz Hybrid is the cleanest B-segment car equipped with an automatic transmission.

Besides the Jazz Hybrid, European customers will also get the face-lifted range of Jazz models, powered by either a 90HP 1.2-liter or 100HP 1.4-liter gasoline engine.

The refreshed small car comes with redesigned bumpers said to reduce drag, new grille and headlights, rear lights with modified lenses and a choice of two new exterior colors – Deep Sapphire Blue and Ionized Bronze.

Inside, the 2011MY Jazz also has a darker color scheme just like the hybrid, new seat fabrics (including the optional leather upholstery), chromed trim pieces and orange dash lighting. The “Magic Seats” system is part of the standard equipment list, while the boot features a secondary underfloor storage compartment, boosting the total load capacity to 399 liters or 19 liters more compared to the previous model.

On the technical side of things, the revised Jazz is once again available with a CVT automatic transmission complete with torque converter and paddle shifters, while engineers upgraded the suspension as well.

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