Jazz hits a green note
Economy is the promise with this new Honda, writes Karla Pincott in Paris
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.’’