News on Honda's Three New Hybrids


For some unknown reason, Honda picked late last night to drop word on its newest slate of hybrid vehicles. The big news is that it will debut a true Toyota Prius-fighter before the end of the year. It will be an affordable five-seat hatchback resembling the FCX Clarity fuel-cell vehicle we saw in L.A. last year. We’d expect this new vehicle to debut at next year’s Detroit auto show in January because Honda stressed it would debut early in 2009.

Honda expects to sell 100,000 of these new hybrids in North America.

The other significant news is that Honda will introduce two other hybrids in the near future to sell alongside its Civic Hybrid. One will be a hybrid version of its redesigned Fit; the gasoline-powered update goes on sale later this year. 

The third new model will be based on the CR-Z sports car concept that we can’t wait to see on the road.

Honda has more specifics on the new hatchback, listed below for the technically inclined. Otherwise, let us know in the comments if you think Honda is making the right move.

More on the new five-seat hybrid hatchback:

  • It will have “high-value” amenities.
  • The battery and internal processing unit will be below the rear cargo area to allow for maximum cargo capacity.
  • It will include technologies to “assist more-fuel-efficient driving.”
  • Its affordable price will make it the “best value in the segment.”

Video: Driving Honda's Hydrogen FCX Clarity, Part 1
Video: Driving Honda's Hydrogen FCX Clarity, Part 2
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Honda's move completely makes sense but they have to do more than just catch up with Toyota. The Civic Hybrid is doing pretty well already and this new line of vehicle might just turn the table around.

Mr. T

I've been saying Honda such make the Fit a hybrid ever since it came out... it makes even more sense now that the CAFE standards have gotten so stringent. But, the car already gets exemplery fuel economy. Imagine how much it will be with the electric motor hooked up to it!


If they still insist to use the IMA, it doesn't stand a chance against the Prius which could run on plain motor briefly.

It may not stand a chance against the Prius - especially when the next Prius arrives (estimated to get 70mpg) but it's (hybrid Fit) still going to get great mpg with it's size and weight. Great move and along with the Toyota creating the Prius brand of hybrid cars will force the big 3 into making drastic changes. Can you imagine having two or three hybrid vehicles priced under 20K to choose from? Especially when gas reached $5 a gallon in 6 months and $6 a gallon next summer.


Are we to assume that Honda has given up on the idea of having a Honda Accord Hybrid with which to compete with the Toyota Camry Hybrid? I would think that other loyal Honda Accord owners like myself are getting ready to jump ship and buy a Toyota Camry Hybrid rather than die of old age waiting for Honda to go with the flow and make an Accord full-hybrid. Their last disastrous attempt at an Accord hybrid was a marketing disaster. Fuel economy was only barely better than a conventional Accord after laying out an extra $3000 for the privilege of saying that you drove a hybrid. Honda is usually smarter than that which really surprised many of us. Toyota seems to be the "the man" when it comes to hybrid technology.

Honda's move to Hybrids is essential to keep up with Toyota. But they need to let go of the stubborn attitude and throw out their Hydrogen line already. Hydrogen belongs in rockets (and there's plenty of rocket research to be done if they need somewhere to send their staff), not cars. They need to build a Hybrid powertrain that can propel itself on electric alone. Honda's strength is the combustion engine, and they're playing the game of everything looks like a nail when you've got a hammer. They need to put it down to stop playing remora to Toyota.

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