City e:HEV launch

Honda launches the new City e:HEV in India: All you need to know

Honda has launched a new variant to its sedan offering, the City; this time it gets a hybrid offering in guise of the e:HEV variant. Make no mistake, that variant is completely different to what you might expect under the hood.

The City e:HEV will be available on the ZX top variant, with a significant addition of features on the safety front along with a completely new drivetrain.

City e:HEV design
The new City e:HEV

Powertrain:

Coming to the highlight of the launch of course, the introduction of a hybrid system into the line-up. It’s no “mild hybrid” tech assisting the drivetrain, no no. It is a full-fledged strong hybrid vehicle with two kinds of electric motors and an Internal combustion engine. The electric drive traction motor peaks 109ps of power with 253Nm of torque while the electric generation motor peaks at a max power of 95ps. The 1.5L DOHC fire breather churns out a modest 98ps and 127Nm with its Atkinson Cycle construction.

The combined output of the entire powertrain comes to be at a 126ps with the motor generated torque at said 253Nm. Honda also expects a 45% increment in fuel efficiency from the new mechanism, with a claimed figure of 26.5kmpl.

Powertrain_City e:HEV
Powertrain of the City e:HEV

There will be three drive modes present in the Honda e:HEV, an EV mode, a Hybrid mode, and an Engine mode with Honda claiming a seamless transition between these modes. The car won’t be needing any charging provisions either as it is designed to charge itself up using the ICE.

Another interesting aspect to the car is its transmission, or the lack thereof. It does not get any sort of CVT or torque convertor, nothing. Honda has opted for a system where it is the electric motor that drives the wheels and not the combustion engine!

The powertrain gets only one single gear with a wet clutch for high speed driving, while the car will drive itself in pure EV mode in speeds less than 40kmph and the engine kicking in after that to only generate power for the motor up until 80kmph. After that, the car goes into engine only drive mode up to 120kmph, beyond which it will be both the engine and the motor pulling the vehicle , making it a complete hybrid system. In fact, the engine will be used to charge the battery more often than not. Needless to say, the hybrid system also employs brake energy regeneration.

Drive modes
Drive mode distribution

Safety:

Coming to the safety systems of the e:HEV variant, in addition to 6 airbags, biggest update being the inclusion of driver assistant systems, called “Honda Sensing”. The system would include a Collision Mitigation Braking system (CMBS) and a Front Collision Warning (FCW), a Road Departure Mitigation system (RDMS) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Adaptive Cruise control and Lane Keep assist. Along with these assistance features, an electric parking brake with automatic brake hold system is also available. Brakes also get a touch up with all four wheels now getting discs.

City e:HEV ADAS
City e:HEV gets a host of driver assistance features

Design updates:

Cosmetically, the Honda e:HEV gets a few subtle differences. On the outside it has an “e:HEV” badging, dual tone diamond cut alloy wheels, a mesh front upper grill, claw type fog lamp garnish, a trunk spoiler and carbon fibre finished rear diffuser (for some reason).

Inside, apart from certain visual updates, there are just some inclusions of the control switches for the new safety systems. The paddle shifters now act as the selector for deceleration regen. The car also gets its fair share of connected features with Alexa and Google Assistant integration, and even gets a host of smartwatch features.

City e:HEV front end
The New City e:HEV front 

The City goes up against the newfound competition of Volkswagen and Skoda in the forms of Virtus and Slavia respectively, along with the Hyundai Verna and Maruti Suzuki Ciaz also in the field.

The new City e:HEV is expected to not come cheap, as all of the swanky electrical gubbins is definitely to supplement the cost. With the current model starting at around 12 Lakhs and the top ZX variant coming in just south of 15 Lakhs, expect the hybrid to be at a premium of around 3 lacs at least. Bookings for the City e:HEV have already begun with launch and deliveries stated to begin early May 2022.

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