Well, finally the head honcho at Honda Japan has declared an all out hybrid war and stating that Civic Hybrid was a mistake. Starting 2009, Honda will release an all new dedicated hybrid car like Toyota Prius, no longer the hybrid car is based off an existing car.
This actually a long awaited news personally for me… For the longest time I feel that Honda is making a mistake with introducing Civic Hybrid. Toyota Prius as a dedicated hybrid car is instantaneously recognizable as a hybrid car, unlike the “hybrid in disguise” of Civic Hybrid. From marketing point of view, Prius drivers will get a direct recognition of being “environmentally conscious” because the car looks different, and thus people can directly associate it with hybrid. The Civic Hybrid on the other hand… Looks like a Civic, a car that is commonly associated as… Common.
Here are some screenshots of the an existing mule of the supposedly dedicated hybrid.
As you can see, Honda’s commitment to introduce a dedicated hybrid is in full steam. Above are pictures of a frankensteined Honda Fit front end on Honda Airwave chassis taken sometimes mid 2007, supposedly tested using the all new hybrid engine. Pictures are taken from… Motor Trend…
Honda also introduced CR-Z, a concept car at 40th Tokyo Motor Show. The car will be gas-electric hybrid, and aimed at performance oriented market… It has the looks, but the gas-electric engine will be something less desired from performance point of view.