In 2006, an unnamed source at Honda said plans were in place to make a hybrid version of the Fit (the Jazz, if you live anywhere other then America). The president and CEO of Honda, Takeo Fukui, rather emphatically stated that no such plans were in the works. The theory apparently was that the Fit was already so fuel efficient (27 mpg city, 34 mpg highway) that the added expense of a hybrid would not be worth the improvement in an already impressive gas-mileage. Then, crude oil prices went through the roof. In a, perhaps not surprising, turn around, Fukui announced earlier this year that a hybrid version of the Fit would be available in late 2009, as a 2010 model.
The hybrid will apparently be offered on the 2009 Fit platform. The 2009 Fit has already been available to reviewers for test drives, and even with a slightly higher weight (about 44 lbs heavier then previous models) Honda has managed to squeeze out even more fuel efficiency. Stats on the gas mileage of the hybrid version of the Fit are not yet available, but presumably they’ll be correspondingly impressive.
Honda is adapting the existing hybrid technology currently used in the Civic to the Fit, and like the Civic, the Fit will not be using the next generation Li-Ion batteries. Unfortunately, Honda’s hybrid technology is not plug-in compatible, which as plug-in technology becomes more and more important, means the Fit may well be in trouble in a few years.
Since the Fit Hybrid will be based on the 2009 Fit platform, anyone who wants to can check out the 2009 Fit for a small glimpse of the future. The 2009 Fit maintains the roominess and comfort the Fit is known for, including the incredible seats. And, according to reports, the Fit can still comfortably hold four adults, plus luggage. The combination of the Fit’s roominess and comfort, combined with the increased mileage of a hybrid, is expected to give the Toyota Prius a run for its money.
Speculation on the 2010 Fit Hybrid’s price tag has been going on for sometime now, and some of the suggestions border on ludicrous (when the conventional Fit tops $14,000, the hybrid is not selling for under $12,000; will those who are suggesting this please check their reality indicators?). Luckily, we do have a bit more then speculation to go on, and the estimates offered by Honda suggest the 2010 Honda Fit Hybrid will top the price tag of the conventional Fit by a little less then $2000.