What is it?
This is a pre-production version of the next-generation Honda Jazz supermini, known as the Fit in its native Japan.
The current Jazz - a firm Autocar favourite - has been around for seven years, during which time around 2,000,000 have been sold across 115 countries. The new Jazz gets its official unveiling at the Tokyo motor show in October, and is due to go on sale in 2008.
The new car is 55mm longer (3900mm), 20mm wider (1695mm) and has a 50mm longer wheelbase (2500mm), which helps improve cabin space, especially rear knee clearance. It isn’t any taller, but rear headroom is 10mm better due to a revised layout for the central fuel tank.
In Japan two engines are available, a 1.3 and a 1.5-litre petrol. Both are revised versions of the existing units, but with the latest SOHC i-VTEC system added to improve power, fuel economy and emissions. There's no word from Honda UK on the engines we'll get here, but expect revised versions of the existing 1.2 and 1.4 i-DSi units. The latter is in fact the same as the Japanese 1.3, but it's dubbed a 1.4 to differentiate it from the 1.2.
The 1.3 generates 99bhp at 6000rpm and 98lb ft at 4500rpm, and the 1.5 packs 118bhp at 6300rpm and 108lb ft at 4800rpm.