Honda is set to unveil the City Hybrid on April 14 as the first strong hybrid in its class in India. It will likely be one of the most fuel-efficient cars in the country, with an expected ARAI figure of at least 25-26kpl. That, combined with the sedan's 40-litre fuel tank, means the City Hybrid could have a range of around 1,000km, according to sources. This figure is significantly more than any other car in its class.
- Honda City Hybrid will do 1000km on a single tank
- Top-spec trim to get ADAS features
2022 Honda City Hybrid: how does it achieve a 1,000km range?
The hybrid version of the City boasts of cutting-edge technology, all with the aim of delivering maximum fuel efficiency. Honda's strong hybrid uses two powerful electric motors paired to an Atkinson Cycle 1.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine. One of the motors mainly functions as an electric generator, while the other handles propulsion. The system is programmed to keep the engine operating at its peak efficiency, somewhere around 2,000rpm. Keeping the engine working at lower RPM is crucial because by the time the engine reaches 4,000rpm, it could be using twice as much fuel.
To further aid efficiency, Honda has let go of the transmission altogether. It has no CVT, no planetary gearset, and no set of gear wheels either. Instead, it has a single direct gear for high-speed driving. In place of the gearbox, there are two electric motors that are sandwiched together and attached to the end of the engine. The electricity produced by the motor-generator is stored in a battery that’s located in the boot.
For the most part, the power from the engine is not sent directly to the wheels but to the electric generator, which then stores the generated electricity in the battery. The battery in turn sends power to the electric motor to turn the wheels. Hence, 95 percent of the energy generated is utilised, as the electricity is first stored in the battery before making it to the wheels. To put it into perspective, even the most fuel efficient petrol engine can only manage 40 or 45 percent efficiency. It is only at higher speeds, above 120kph, that the engine is directly connected to the front wheels.
With all this tech, the City Hybrid is expected to have an ARAI figure of at least 25-26kpl, making it one of the most fuel efficient cars in India. For reference, the Maruti Suzuki Celerio AMT currently holds the crown for the most fuel-efficient car in India, with a claimed ARAI rating of 26.68kpl.
The City Hybrid will have the same 40-litre fuel tank as the regular City and with an expected ARAI figure of at least 25-26kpl, the sedan could have a 1,000km range. With the City Hybrid, Honda could be targeting pure EVs like MG ZS EV and Tata Nexon EV which offer a claimed range of 461km and 321km respectively.
2022 Honda City Hybrid: power output details
The City Hybrid consists of a 1.5-litre petrol that makes 98hp and runs a more efficient 'Atkinson cycle'. It is aided by an electric motor that puts out 109hp. The maximum combined power output is not disclosed but the engine makes a maximum torque of 127Nm, while the electric motor makes 253Nm. It must be noted that the City Hybrid is about 110kg heavier than the standard car.
2022 Honda City Hybrid: variant and feature details
The City Hybrid will be sold only in top-spec ZX variant. Expect the hybrid version to have similar equipment as the regular sedan. However, Honda will add Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technology, with features like lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control on the top-spec City e:HEV ZX variant. MG Astor, Mahindra XUV700 are some of the vehicles in the price bracket to get ADAS. Hyundai is also expected to bring the feature with the Creta facelift.
2022 Honda City Hybrid: rivals in India
The City Hybrid is likely to be substantially more expensive than the regular 5th-gen City sedan. Prices are expected to be in the region of Rs 22 lakh-25 lakh (ex-showroom), which puts it against the more powerful 1.5 TSI variants of the Volkswagen Virtus and Skoda Slavia. The regular City sedan, on the other hand, also rivals the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and the Hyundai Verna.