It’s official. Honda plans to launch two new hybrid vehicles next year: a sporty coupe based on 2007’s CR-Z concept car and a hybrid version of the compact Fit. Including the current Insight and Civic hybrids, Honda’s tally of the gasoline-electric vehicles will be up to four but there are plans for even more of the fuel-efficient models just on the horizon.
The CR-Z will be heavily influenced by 2007’s concept car of the same name and is expected to make its world debut in production trim at this October’s Tokyo Motor Show. It is currently being designed and engineered in Europe, its expected key market, and is rumored to feature a 140hp peak power rating from its hybrid drivetrain. First sales are scheduled for Japan in February next year.
2009 Honda FitEnlarge Photo
The Fit hybrid will be based on the regular compact hatch already on sale in the U.S. and is estimated to cost a little over $15,000. Not much else is known about the car but its release date is slated for late 2010.
Both cars will be powered by Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA), also found in the Insight. In the case of the Insight, the IMA incorporates a 13hp electric motor and a compact Intelligent Power Unit (IPU) – recapturing and storing kinetic energy from vehicle braking and deceleration and supplying additional power for acceleration when needed.
Along with today’s announcement, Honda also confirmed today that it was working on a new hybrid system designed for mid and fullsize vehicles but no release dates for these vehicles have been mentioned yet.