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2021 Honda Jazz

2021 Honda Jazz

A fourth-gen subcompact from the H Badge

Honda is testing an all-new Jazz subcompact hatchback, also known as the Fit in some markets. It’s the fourth generation for the nameplate and it looks like it will retain the wedge-nosed one-box design of its predecessors, albeit with a slightly sportier design twist.

The camouflaged prototype spotted by our spies reveals quite a lot about the car, which is slated for a reveal no earlier than 2020, since the refreshed version of the current model only came out last year. Aside from the completely new and slightly more rakish-looking body, changes will be made to its powerplant lineup and interior. The hybrid version may share its powertrain with the new Insight.

Update 04/4/2019: The 2021 Honda Jazz was caught out in the wild again and, while it hasn’t dropped a lot of camo, we can make out a few subtle differences. Check out what we know in the Spy Shots section below!

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2020 Honda 2

2020 Honda 2

We spoke and Honda listened - The Urban EV is moving into production

It turns out the rumors that Honda was eventually going to put its Urban EV Concept from the 2017 Frankfurt motor show into production were true. Our spies have caught what is, evidently, a camouflaged production prototype of that study and, while it does do away with some of the concept’s craziness, it’s still an interesting and unexpected model.

Back at its motor show debut, the Urban EV concept caused quite a stir with its retro-futuristic styling and all-electric powertrain, although it was probably the former that made it unique. Honda seems to have left the overall design mostly unchanged for the production version, the big difference being that it has grown from a three-door into a five-door.

The concept also had rear-hinged (so-called “suicide”) doors, but this production interpretation seems to have regular doors. Another change over the concept has to do with the shape of the rear lights that are now round as opposed to square, mirroring the shape of the front clusters.

It’s also going to be Honda’s first all-electric vehicle for the European market, but aside from that, it’s also apparently going to be a sold as a kind of premium vehicle (according to some rumors), so it probably won’t necessarily be an affordable supermini/subcompact.

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2019 Honda CR-V Hybrid

2019 Honda CR-V Hybrid

Honda’s first electrified crossover for Europe

Honda’s first electrified crossover for the European market is the new CR-V hybrid which it introduced at the 2018 Paris motor show. It is the second powertrain option that Honda offers on the Old Continent, after the 1.5-liter turbo shown at the Geneva motor show, and it promises decent performance with excellent economy thanks to its combination of a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine and two electric motors - it also does away with a conventional gearbox.

Instead, it uses a single fixed-gear ratio that sounds quite similar to what the Koenigsegg Regera uses, albeit in a less fancy package - one gear and plenty of electric boost at lower speeds before the engine starts to pick up. Honda offers the CR-V hybrid in both front- and all-wheel drive configurations with the latter only incurring a minimal fuel efficiency penalty.

The North American version of the vehicle will be nearly identical in terms of specs and look to the one revealed in Paris.

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2020 Honda Sports EV

2020 Honda Sports EV

The brands first EV sports car could put a big damper on its ICE-powered competition

Honda has big EV plans, and the first big step is bringing the Urban EV Concept to the market, in production form, by 2019. That much we know. And, if that’s any indication, that means the Sports EV Concept will be the next in line. And, that’s exactly why we’ve taken the liberty render up what the production model will look like. Naturally, it will maintain that sleek hatchback look but will, of course, get more production-friendly features. Range should be somewhere about the 250-mile mark and performance will likely come in somewhere around 300 to 350 horsepower. But, let’s talk more about that, and what it will take to morph the concept into a production model, in my speculative review below.

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2019 Honda Insight

2019 Honda Insight

The Japanese hybrid returns after four years!

Introduced in late 1999, the Honda Insight was the first production car to feature the company’s then-new Integrated Motor Assist system. It was also the first hybrid launched in North America, arriving in showrooms seven months before the Toyota Prius. Production ended in 2006, after only 17,020 units built, with plans to roll out a replacement in 2009. The second-gen model arrived on time, but this time as a five-door hatchback. The Insight was discontinued for the second time in 2014, mostly due to slow sales. Come 2018, and Honda revived the nameplate with a modern design and a new drivetrain. A pre-production prototype was unveiled at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, while the production model was launched at the New York Auto Show.

"The Honda Insight is anticipated to receive fuel economy ratings competitive with the best hybrids in the segment, with styling that will have universal appeal inside and out and best-in-class passenger volume," said Henio Arcangeli Jr., senior vice resident of American Honda. The redesigned Insight will join four other electrified Hondas, including the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, Electric, and Fuel Cell, and the Fit EV. Slotted between the Civic and the Accord, the new Insight is now described as a premium sedan, mostly because it has a more elegant exterior design and more modern appointments and convenience features inside the cabin. Let’s see what it has to offer and how it stands against the competition in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Honda Insight.

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2018 Honda Clarity

2018 Honda Clarity

Expanding the line with a new Hydrogen Hybrid

Honda introduced the Clarity nameplate back in 2008 with the FCX Clarity, a mid-size, five-passenger, four-door sedan equipped with a hydrogen-powered electric motor. Based on the FCX Concept vehicle from 2006, the original Clarity was the first hydrogen fuel cell passenger car ever offered for general public consumption. Production of the original Clarity ended in 2014 with just a handful of units sold, but now it’s back, with Honda reintroducing the nameplate in December of 2016. The basics are the same, including the four-door sedan body style bristling with nerdy cuts and details, while under the hood you’ll find a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. Joining the H2-powered model now is two other powertrains, including an all-electric and plug-in hybrid variant, both of which were unveiled earlier this year at the New York International Auto Show.

With three options on the table, Honda hopes to bump up U.S. sales to 75,000 units over the course of the next four years, representing a five-fold increase in electric vehicle sales overall. This also coincides with goals of making two out of every three vehicles sold an electrified green alternative by the year 2030. “The Honda Clarity is aimed at accelerating the deployment of advanced electrified powertrain technology and bringing electrified vehicles further into the mainstream,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “The Clarity series also heralds the advancement of our Honda Electrification Initiative, representing our investment in the full spectrum of electric-vehicle technologies.” Can the Clarity deliver?

Update: 06/12/2017: Honda has just announced a new leasing program for the Honda Clarity Electric. Check out the “Prices” section below to learn all about it.

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2016 Honda FCV

2016 Honda FCV

Honda’s first mass market fuel cell car has taken a lot of different forms as it evolves into something that you can buy at a dealership. The first prototypes were shown all of the way back in 1999, then there were a number of test vehicles build from there. Another concept showed up in 2006, followed by the FCX Clarity in 2008, which was produced and leased in very limited numbers for research purposes. Then Honda showed off a concept of an actual production model at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, and the name of the project changed from FCX to FCV.

This represents a change from “Fuel Cell eXperimental” to “Fuel Cell Vehicle”, signaling that Honda is finally serious about putting the car into production, even if it does have a tremendously uncreative name. Now Honda is announcing that a production-ready version of the car will debut at the Tokyo Motor Show, along with a real name, and a few teaser photos have come out as well. The car has been toned down from the concept, obviously, but the evolution of the model is still evident in the new design. And although Toyota might has beaten Honda to market with its own fuel cell car, this is still a very important vehicle.

Updated 10/29/2015: Honda dropped the official details on the next generation Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle during its official debut at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. Sales in Japan will begin in early 2016, with Europe to follow later in the year.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Honda FCV.

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2013 - 2014 Honda CR-Z by Honda Performance Development

2013 - 2014 Honda CR-Z by Honda Performance Development

Mopar, AMG, SVT, and TRD – all names synonymous with factory performance with balanced characteristics and an intact vehicle warranty. Yet with these great names in manufacturer-approved performance parts, one automaker was suspiciously absent from the scene despite having a huge aftermarket following: Honda.

That’s about to change with Honda’s new Honda Performance Development, or HPD division. Roll out will be quite slow, however, as the division builds a name for itself within the Honda brand. HPD’s first project is the slow-selling Honda CR-Z hybrid.

Owners of manual-transmission CR-Zs can now have Honda install a 200,000 rpm Rotrex centrifugal traction-drive supercharger mated to a Griffiths air-to-air intercooler. A respectable 67-horsepower increase is expected, bringing total horsepower to 197 ponies and roughly 170 pound-feet of torque, while fuel consumption remains at 42 mpg. Other modifications to the CR-Z includes a performance exhaust, suspension upgrades, a wheel and tire package, and a big brake kit. Not bad for a hybrid. The supercharger kit runs $5,495 plus installation.

Philip LaPointe, manager of HPD Street Performance, told Automotive News in an interview that, “We’re sticking our first toe in the water. We didn’t want to start with too high volume. We need to know who’s going to build the parts and distribute them. We need to get our dealers and logistics up to speed."

LaPointe continued saying the performance parts for other Honda models would go on sale over the next few years. Buys will likely be waiting till the all-new 2016 Civic rolls out before a full-on HPD kit would be available from the dealer showroom, however. “The dream scenario is to have performance parts available at [new-product] launch,” he said.

Honda will allow buyers to retain the balance of their factory warranty even with the supercharger kit installed.

Updated 8/21/2014: Honda has finally unveiled the final specifications and cost for the supercharger kit from HPD. Not only is it more powerful that we expected, but it also is cheaper than expected and the full warranty remains intact.

Click past the jump for more on the Honda CR-Z by HPD

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2015 Honda Fit Hybrid

2015 Honda Fit Hybrid

Honda announced today the first details on the next-generation Fit Hybrid that is set for release on the Japanese market this September. The third-generation Fit will be one of the most innovative hybrid models ever offered by Honda. It will be the first Honda model equipped with the Sport Hybrid Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive (i-DCD) that will ensure a fuel economy ratings of 36.4 kilometers per liter (about 86 mpg).

The new hybrid system combines a newly developed 1.5-liter in-line four-cylinder engine with the earlier mentioned i-DCD. The i-DCD system includes a seven-speed DCT system with a built-in high-output motor and the IPU (intelligent power unit) equipped with a built-in lithium-ion battery.

There is also an electric servo brake system that stores energy while braking and provides a fully-electric compressor that reduces engine load. With all these updates, Honda’s new hybrid system ensure a fuel economy improvement of 35 percent when compared to the current IMA hybrid system.

The new hybrid system also features three driving modes that alternate between gasoline and electric, depending on the driving situation: EV Drive, Hybrid Drive Mode and Engine Drive Mode.

Before you get too excited, you have to know that this Fit will not be offered on the U.S. market. However, Honda plans to use this technology in the U.S. on a sedan that it will build on the Fit platform.

Click past the jump to read more about the Honda Fit.

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2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

Details about this fall’s new Accord Hybrid are starting to trickle from Honda in the form of official images and a boast about the new midsize sedan’s 47 mpg combined rating. The Hybrid model leverages the advanced Sport Hybrid battery systems, new engine and aerodynamic tweaks from its pricier Plug-in Hybrid Accord sibling.

Luckily, the Accord Hybrid benefits from the latest LED styling outside and new high-tech eco displays inside – without the questionable new nose Honda grafts onto the PHEV (as well as this regular Accord Hybrid outside the U.S.)

There is still blue-tinted lighting and badges galore, but this time it is not trying to disguise old halogen bulbs like on the CR-Z.

Pricing and final stats for the Hybrid’s smaller lithium-ion battery pack are not yet available and will directly influence the showroom costs. The Accord PHEV’s $40,000-plus pricing has raised some eyebrows, but the new Hybrid will be built on the regular Ohio assembly line for the first time – hopefully bringing savings versus the Japanese-built Accord PHEV.

Pricing in the low $30,000 range will put the new Honda about $2,000 above similarly equipped Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion Hybrid sedans. Buyers are still lapping up the base $23,000 Prius hatchback’s mileage and ease of use. Even so, the the real sales prize will be winning over not just early adopters but mainstream sedan shoppers with an eye on fuel economy and cruising refinement.

Click past the jump for the full preview of the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid with details on the all-new 2.0-liter engine and twin-motor Sport Hybrid system ahead of the Accord Hybrid’s arrival at Honda dealers this October.

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