WHEN Honda's new Jazz arrives at British dealers next year, you'll be able to have any powertrain you like - as long as it's hybrid.
For the latest generation Jazz ditches pure petrol power for a two-motor hybrid powertrain which Honda reckons will provide "EV-like" driving dynamics coupled with advanced technology and safety features.
Unveiled at the Tokyo motor show and coming to the UK in mid-2020, the latest Jazz will be the first model in Honda's European line-up to wear the company's new e:HEV powertrain badging. This is the first example of "Honda e:Technology" branding that will feature across all Honda's future electrified products, says the company.
Unveiled alongside the new Jazz at the Tokyo show was a new mini-SUV version which features increased ride height, a different front grille design, water-resistant upholstery and integrated roof rails. Called the Crosstar it's designed to appeal to drivers looking for a more crossover style design, says the company.
Full details of the hybrid powertrain have yet to be revealed by the Japanese maker. It's a newly developed system, says Honda, but it is expected to be broadly similar to the petrol-electric hybrid system introduced on the CR-V SUV earlier this year, albeit with a smaller petrol engine allied to a less-powerful electric motor.
The fourth generation of the company's popular supermini retains the previous model's familiar high-riding silhouette but comes with a completely new front end which features a more curved bonnet, new headlights and a narrow grille which hints at the possibility of a full battery electric model further down the line.
The sleeker look is emphasised by narrow A-pillars which are half the width of those on the previous model, improving forward visibility.
Honda says that the new Jazz will come with the most comprehensive suite of advanced safety features and driver aids in its class. There will also be a new LCD touchscreen interface featuring familiar smartphone-style usability and a comprehensive suite of in-built apps with wireless connection available for the first time.
Clever packaging of the hybrid drivetrain components and the positioning of the fuel tank in the centre of the chassis beneath the front seats mean that the latest Jazz retains the class-leading interior space of the previous model, including the versatile, so-called 'Magic' rear seats which offer both fold-flat or flip-up flexibility to maximise luggage space.