Jazz hits a green note

Econ­omy is the prom­ise with this new Honda, writes Karla Pin­cott in Paris

Herald Sun - Motoring - - On Road -

GREEN-car buy­ers in Aus­tralia could fi­nally get an af­ford­able, $ 20,000-some­thing hy­brid when Honda brings its petrol-elec­tric Jazz to Aus­tralia.

The new baby is close to con­fir­ma­tion for next year and is likely to have a start­ing sticker in the $21,000 range.

‘‘Af­ford­able hy­brid is what Honda is all about. And if the Jazz hy­brid hits our shores it makes the tech­nol­ogy avail­able to even more peo­ple,’’ Mark Hig­gins, spokesman for Honda Aus­tralia, says.

The hy­brid Jazz is re­vealed at the Paris Mo­tor Show along­side Honda’s other green pace­mak­ers, the In­sight five-door and sportier CR-Z, pick­ing up a sim­i­lar IMA— In­te­grated Mo­tor As­sist— hy­brid pack­age with an elec­tric mo­tor mated to a 1.3-litre, four­cylin­der petrol en­gine, feed­ing drive to the front wheels through a con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion. The Jazz hy­brid also has stop-start tech­nol­ogy, which tem­po­rar­ily cuts the en­gine when you stop, with vari­able cylin­der man­age­ment that can shut down all the valves to re­duce pump­ing losses when you’re driv­ing on the elec­tric mo­tor only.

The fuel econ­omy for the Jazz hy­brid is es­ti­mated at about 3.3 litres for 100km, with CO emissions com­ing in around 85g/km.

The Prius, in com­par­i­son, has an of­fi­cial econ­omy fig­ure of 3.9 litres for 100km with CO emissions of 89g/km.

But the big dif­fer­ence for hy­brid buy­ers is likely to be the price.

The Jazz goes on sale in Europe early next year and is ex­pected to be only $2000 more than the stan­dard petrol-pow­ered Jazz and about $4000 less than the In­sight, which is about to go on sale in Aus­tralia. With a very rough cal­cu­la­tion for Aus­tralia, that would put it about $21,000 if it came with the $18,000 base-model Jazz speci­fi­ci­a­tion, but with a ceil­ing of about $25,000 if it was closer to the $21,000 top-line petrol-only Jazz. ‘‘It has a good chance of com­ing here,’’ is all Hig­gins ad­mits on the hy­brid Jazz.

‘‘It’s cer­tainly a model we have un­der con­sid­er­a­tion and it would be a good ad­di­tion to the ex­pan­sion of our hy­brid range, which starts with In­sight this year and CR-Z next year.

‘‘It’s too early to talk pric­ing at this stage, but it would be a small pre­mium for hy­brid but ob­vi­ously there would be long-term sav­ings with that car as well.’’

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