Honda won't officially take the wraps off its 2011 Fit Hybrid until the start of the 2010 Paris Motor Show in September, but the automaker has been kind to release a few images and some preliminary specifications ahead of the Parisian debut.
As has been long speculated, the Fit Hybrid uses a powertrain 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.
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 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.