It turns out those Japanese magazine scans that leaked out a few weeks ago were dead-on accurate. Folks, meet the 2015 Honda Fit. Not only is it redesigned, it's also got a hybrid variants that are headed to the U.S.
But you like that hatchback you see above and are somehow pining for a hybrid version, don't get too excited. Automotive News reports that Americans won't be getting that car, but rather a hybrid sedan Fit and a small hybrid crossover SUV based on the Fit.
That's right. Fit sedans and SUVs. Who'da thunk it?
This redesigned Fit — known as the Jazz in other markets — is really big deal for Honda on several fronts. Automotive News says it represents an attempt to rejuvenate their styling, which has become admittedly staid in recent years.
It's also their chance to finally score a big hit in the hybrid market beyond the Civic Hybrid. Attempts like the CR-Z and Insight haven't really caught on with buyers the way the Toyota Prius line has. The last Fit itself was kind of a slow-seller here as well.
The 2015 Fit Hybrid packs a 1.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle engine coupled to a 22-kw electric motor and battery. It will carry a brand-new seven-speed dual clutch transmission. And unlike Honda's current integrated motor assist hybrid system, the new hybrid drivetrain allows driving in electric-only mode, AN reports.
The car averages 86 mpg in the Japanese testing cycle, which is different from ours, so don't spit out your coffee just yet. By comparison a Prius C gets 83 mpg in their cycle, so that should give a good idea of what Honda is aiming for here.
It's also the first car to be released with Honda's new design language, which they call "Exciting H." The result is a Fit that's sleeker, bolder and more aggressive-looking than the current egglike Fit. Call me crazy, but I rather like the way it looks. It's definitely an improvement in that department, and it echoes the Focus and Fiesta a bit, which isn't a bad thing.
It's not just for the Whole Foods set, either. Motor Trend has some deets on the sportier RS version, which has a 1.5-liter gas engine mated to a six-speed manual they say is S2000-esque.
Also according to AN, Honda says they didn't half-ass the interior of this car. Still reeling from the 2012 Civic debacle, they opted for a cleaner, more upscale, less busy interior. Here's what interior design chief Yoshinori Asahi said:
"We aren't going to take the attitude, 'This is our cost, so make an interior that matches it,'" Asahi said. "My job is set high targets and achieve them with low-cost technologies. If you don't do this, design quality deteriorates. I think that was the problem with Civic."
Good on you, Honda. Let's hope it's fun to drive, too. What do you think of the new Fit?