At AutoIndustriya.com, we get quite a few rumors and insights from several industry insiders in the South East Asian region. More often than not, they point towards future (or near future) models that are destined for our market.
Just yesterday, we got word from our reliable contact about a carmaker's plans for a new model launch, and it's a big one: it's Honda.
After dissecting the information we got, we'll admit that even we are still very confused.
Basically, what we were sent was a snapshot of a spreadsheet document that outlines Honda's plans for some variants of the Honda City; yeah, the all new model they debuted just over a month ago. We can't publish that image (otherwise our contact could lose his/her job), but what we can tell you is that we're still trying to make sense it.
The screenshot of the internal Honda document covers the production of the City that will be manufactured in Thailand. One thing it confirms is that Honda will manufacture the 2020 City in Hybrid Electric Vehicle with a 1.5-liter i-MMD gas-electric hybrid engine.
The Honda City HEV, alongside the Honda City PET 21M (which we presume to be Petrol, or the 1.0-liter Turbo) will be sold in Thailand, as well as be exported across the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean, among other regions and countries.
The rows on the spreadsheet for the Philippine market Honda City are not on the cropped image, but we think that's because the City is assembled in Santa Rosa, Laguna; that means we'll be getting it in parts form. But the interesting bit is that Honda is planning three variants of a different kind of City model:
We say different because there's a “5D” appended to the City name, which is very odd.
The City is a 4-door sedan, and the 5-door hatchback counterpart really is the Jazz (AKA: Fit). Yet the spreadsheet (again, we can't show it to you) clearly indicates City 5D. It doesn't say Jazz 5D or Fit 5D, but there is a column that says 22M.
Our contact says that the City 5D will be a Jazz successor; but whether or not it will be based on the Honda Fit we saw at the Tokyo Motor Show or a different City model altogether (perhaps one that mimics the Chinese 5-door Honda City called the Gienia, pictured above) is still unclear. What we can tell is that there are three rows which point to a logical conclusion that there will be three variants for the Philippine market. As before, the 5-door subcompact hatchback will be imported from Thailand.
Here's the thing: it says the Philippine market will get the naturally aspirated 1.5-liter engine only. There was no row that indicates 1.0-liter VTEC Turbo, which will be produced for the Thai-market City and City “5D”.
The engine that the Philippine-bound City “5D” models (and presumably, future PH-assembled City 4-door models) will get is better than the 1.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC L15Z1 engine in current City and Jazz models. The local market will get a 1.5-liter DOHC i-VTEC which could be the L15B1 engine (pictured below). If that is the model, then it will have 10 more metric horsepower at 130 PS and 10 Nm of extra torque.
The information we got also indicated that Honda will commence production of the City 1.5L Hybrid in Thailand in Q4 of this year. The company will also produce the City 5D beginning in the same period (Q4 2020) and will commence export in Q1 2021.
We have to apologize if the information is presented in this unusual manner, but we're trying to relay as much as we can and as best we can. We are a bit disappointed that the 1.0-liter VTEC Turbo might not make it to the Philippine-market Honda City and Honda City “5D”, but hey, maybe we can see it in mid-cycle update of the model.