|2011 Honda Fit Hybrid|
As has been long speculated, the Fit Hybrid uses a powertrain that Honda hybrid enthusiasts are most certainly familiar with. Honda packs the same parallel hybrid powertrain used in the current Insight into the little Fit hatchback, providing it with a 1.3-liter I-4, a continuously variable transmission, and an electric motor sandwiched between the two. According to Honda, the setup is good for 98 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque, which isn't a dramatic departure from the 117 ponies and 106 pound-feet delivered by the Fit's standard 1.5-liter I-4.
2011 Honda Fit Hybrid Rear Three Quarter View
To flaunt its green powertrain, Honda dressed the Fit Hybrid up with a new grille, blue-tinted headlamps, revised bumper skins, clear taillights, and chrome tailgate trim. If that isn't attention-grabbing enough for buyers, they can spring for an unique Lime Green metallic paint (pictured). Inside, Honda blessed the cabin with a new dashboard and instrument panel (here's hoping they're rolled out across the entire Fit lineup), and European models are offered with optional leather seating surfaces.
Fuel economy and emissions figures for the Fit Hybrid haven't been finalized, but early reports suggest it bests the Insight's 40/43 mpg (city/highway) EPA ratings, which places it far ahead of the 28/35 mpg rating earned by a normal Fit with an automatic transmission. Expect Honda's preliminary numbers to emerge closer to the auto show, along with a price tag. We've heard rumors that the Fit Hybrid could undercut the Insight's price tag with a base price of roughly $17,800.
According to Honda, sales of the Fit Hybrid will begin in Europe early next year, but a timetable for a possible U.S. launch has yet to be announced.