Last year, Honda introduced the City Hatchback in Thailand, effectively replacing the Jazz for the ASEAN market. Not long after, the model officially made its way to the Philippines. However, it didn't come with a 1.0-liter turbocharged mill as found in the Thailand-spec model. Instead, the PH-spec City Hatchback was available only with a naturally-aspirated 1.5-liter engine.
Over in Thailand, it seems the City Hatchback will soon be offered with another powertrain option aside from the 1.0-liter turbo mill. Joining it will be the 1.5-liter hybrid mill found in the City e:HEV sedan. The question now is this – will we get it?
Honda Thailand has yet to release any teaser or make an official announcement about the hybrid City Hatchback. But according to a report from Headlight Magazine, the hybrid City Hatchback e:HEV will supposedly make its official debut by the end of June.
But what will the hybrid City Hatchback be like? Well, expect it to use the same powertrain as the one found in the City e:HEV. For reference, the hybrid-powered City sedan uses a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine paired with an electric motor with power sent to the front wheels via an e-CVT. Combined output is rated at 109 PS and 253 Nm torque.
As for the exterior, expect the design of both the hybrid and non-hybrid City Hatchback to be more or less the same. However, the hybrid model may be offered with a new blue color, similar to the hybrid-powered City sedan. Most of the interior will be carried over as well. Possibly the only difference would be the instrument cluster to display the hybrid powertrain's various parameters. HeadlightMag adds that Honda Active Safety System will be standard on the City Hatchback e:HEV.
With the City and City Hatchback soon to be offered with a hybrid powertrain in Thailand, it seems possible that Honda will offer it in the Philippines too. It has been a few years since Honda Cars Philippines offered a hybrid model, the last being the Legend. Toyota currently offers the Corolla Altis Hybrid and Corolla Cross HEV locally. But with hybrid-versions of the City and City Hatchback, Honda might be able to take a slice of the entry-level hybrid market. The question now is, will they?