Meet the Hybrid Supermini

Honda is set to unveil what it calls the world’s first hybrid supermini at next month’s Paris auto show. The automaker claims that the 2011 Jazz hybrid will have “the practicality and flexibility of the current Jazz, but with reduced CO2 emissions and improvements to fuel economy.” Just one problem: it will only be released in the U.K.

The 13 ft.-long hybrid Jazz will have the same engine as Honda’s Insight hybrid–an Integrated Motor Assist system, CVT gearbox, 1.3 liter engine, and parallel hybrid system. The hybrid version of the vehicle will also be distinguishable from its gasoline-powered sibling with a new front grille and headlights, restyled bumpers, optional leather seating, and a Lime Green metallic color option.

Honda hasn’t yet revealed the vehicle’s efficiency rating, but it will be similar to the Insight, which gets 64 mpg. No word on pricing, either, but we’re guessing that the hybrid will be slightly more expensive than the $16,954 gasoline-powered Jazz.

Sadly, Honda won’t release a U.S-bound hybrid Fit (the equivalent of the Jazz in the U.S. and Japan) in tandem with the Jazz. Japan will get a hybrid Fit this fall, but the automaker says there are no plans to bring it to market in the U.S. That’s probably not the smartest move–Fit sales in the U.S. have been robust. Why the hesitancy to bring the hybrid Fit to America? We’re still waiting to hear back from Honda.


Ariel Schwartz can be reached on Twitter or by email.AS