This is our first glimpse of Honda's new dedicated hybrid-only concept, which will be revealed at the Geneva motor show next month.
Officially, this is a 'design study for a new-generation hybrid car,' a concept that Honda says blends cutting-edge hybrid technology with the kind of driving fun inherent in a small sports car.
The concept is a two-door coupe that was designed at the company’s German R&D centre. Described as Civic-sized or smaller, its appearance at Geneva is to test public reaction to the design. If the reception is good and the numbers stack up, then it could come to market as a successor to the willfully idiosyncratic three-cylinder 102mpg Insight coupe hybrid which Honda introduced in 1999.
Autocar’s information is that this is one of two new-generation hybrid models that Honda’s working on. Also due out in 2008 is a bigger, more mainstream hatchback, aimed squarely at the Toyota Prius. This is the model that was announced last summer by Honda president Takeo Fukui and which the company expects to sell 200,000 units a year once fully on stream. Both the new Prius-fighter and the new small coupe will be based on the second-generation Jazz platform.