In July 2020, Honda launched the 5th generation City in the Indian market, a moniker synonymous with the premium sedan car since 1998. The Honda City has been setting new benchmarks ever since. Now in its 5th generation, the Honda City is powered by a new naturally-aspirated petrol engine and a turbocharged diesel motor. But now it is being rumoured that Honda is likely to introduce the City e: HEV electric hybrid model in the Indian market close to the 5th generation car’s anniversary.
The Honda City e: HEV is expected to be positioned above the range-topping model in the current line up and is expected to be powered by the 1.5-litre Atkinson cycle DOHC i-VTEC motor with Honda i-MMD Sport Hybrid technology the consist of an electric motor that makes 108 PS of power and 253 Nm of torque mated to a naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine that makes 98 PS of power and 127 Nm of torque.
The engine is expected to be matched to a direct drive system and claims to return a fuel efficiency of 27.8 kmpl according to the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle). The e: HEV powerplant is capable of propelling the car via only the electric motor, only the petrol motor or a combination of both. The electric motor also helps provide the engine torque-assist, reducing the initial load, improving efficiency and life.
In the Thai-spec model the City e: HEV features equipment such as Honda Sensing intelligent safety suite, Honda Lane Watch blind-spot monitoring system, collision warning system with automatic braking assistance and ADAS features such as Adaptive Cruise Control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, auto high beam and electronic parking brakes. Honda might not offer some of the features such as the radar-based cruise control on the India-spec car to help reduce cost and make the City e: HEV more viable in the cost-sensitive market like India.
The Honda City e: HEV already made its debut in the Thailand market in November last year priced at THB 839,000 which roughly converts to INR 20.50 lakh.