The CR-V Hybrid pairs two electric motors with a 2.0-litre petrol engine and a CVT transmission. However, given its smaller dimensions, the Jazz supermini will use either a 1.0-litre of 1.5-litre petrol engine and have less power. Honda has yet to confirm any capacity, performance or economy figures for the new Jazz's hybrid drivetrain, however.
The Jazz will be the first in the brand 's line-up to only offer a hybrid powertrain, with other models soon to follow suit. Honda announced earlier this year that all of its combustion-engined models in Europe will be offered with hybrid powertrains by 2025.
Honda said at the time: "Ahead of its 2025 electrification goal, Honda will expand the application of its i-MMD dual-motor hybrid system, with the introduction into smaller segment cars an important first step."
Currently, the only model it offers as a hybrid is the CR-V, which indirectly replaced a diesel variant of the compact SUV. Petrol variants are also sold. Honda UK has seen great success with the CR-V Hybrid, which accounts for 55% of the model’s sales.
Following the launch of the hybrid Jazz in 2020, the next electrified model will be the Civic in 2021. The next-generation Accord due to launch in Japan next February will also be a hybrid.
Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo confirmed at the Tokyo motor show that all future electrified Hondas would be sold under a newly-created e:Technology sub-brand. All models powered by Honda's two-motor hybrid system will be called e:HEV.
Honda UK sales boss Phil Webb said the maker will launch a campaign to help educate on the hybrid Jazz given the older age of many of its loyal customers. He predicts a dip in sales when it first arrives on roads next summer, but anticipates it will bounce back to between 18,000 and 20,000 units annually in the UK.
The new Jazz must remain familiar enough to appeal to those loyal owners, while also bringing in new people to Honda’s entry-level model.
The styling is a minor evolution over the previous model. The space-maximising upright profile and tall glasshouse remains, but with more curved lines and redesigned lights, bumpers and bonnet. One notable feature is the split A-pillars, designed to increase forward visibilty. The windscreen wipers have also been hidden below the top of the bonnet line.
Honda claims the new Jazz's seats offers comfort similar to that of a premium saloon. The rear seats are said to retain the flexibility of previous Jazz's in how verstaile they are. The forward cabin design is a simple one, with clean lines and a touchscreen mounted in the centre console.
In Japan, five different versions of the new Jazz will be offered: Basic, Home, Ness, Crosstar and Luxe. They are different trim levels, that climb from a simple version on steel wheels through to a model with leather seats and extra chrome trim. It's unlikely these trims will all be offered in the UK, with Honda set to confirm details on the European Jazz later this week at a seperate unveiling.