The most interesting part of Honda’s new Fit – a hybrid drivetrain mated to a dual clutch gearbox – won’t be coming to North America. At least not in this form.
Automotive News is reporting that the hybrid powertrain, a 1.5L engine which apparently puts out 135 horsepower and 125 lb-ft (according to Motor Trend) mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission, will only be offered in a sedan and crossover bodystyle in North America. The hatch will likely stick with a naturally aspirated 1.5L mated to a CVT or a 6-speed manual gearbox.
The lack of a hybrid hatch comes as part of Honda’s attempt to adapt vehicles to local market tastes – for North America, this means sedan and crossover variants as well as the hatchback. Now that production of the Fit is taking place in Mexico, this is a viable option for Honda.
The new hybrid system is also said to best the Toyota Prius c in fuel economy. While only Japanese figures for the Fit Hybrid have been released, the Prius C returns 53 mpg city and 46 mpg highway. Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system, which was cheaper to produce but offered lesser fuel economy gains compared to Toyota’s system, has been replaced with an all-new technology dubbed “Sport Hybrid Intelligent-Dual Clutch Drive”.