In the compact hatchback segment, it will be interesting to see the forerunners Japanese automaker Honda and South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai lock their horns over their respective upcoming cars, the Jazz 2014 variant and the Next generation i20. The Honda Jazz 2014 version is in the design stage and will be soon released as a hybrid variant in Japan this year. The car is to be based on the highly efficient ‘Earth Dreams’ technology and is to be powered by a 1.5 litre engine producing 128 PS or a 1.3 litre engine. The engine is geared to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission system.
Its distinctive feature is the city brake active system which puts it an edge above the competitors. There have been many modifications made to the model with an approximation of 35 % upgraded version. The latest version will feature a Sport hybrid i – DCD (intelligent dual clutch drive) and has three driving modes – Pure EV, Hybrid mode and the engine only mode.
The company has announced that the Jazz hybrid is capable of delivering a mileage of 36.4 km / l based on the test drive. The constant disengaging and engaging of the engine and the motor has helped to achieve this. Honda plans to launch the vehicle in India with a diesel engine. The pricing will be a crucial factor but it can be expected to be heavy on the pocket. The exterior look of the car is marvellous and the interior is equally classy.
The Hyundai next generation i20 is still under the design and testing stage and its testing mules have been spotted near. As such the original looks are still not known. The car seems to be a larger model than the current version. It is only centimetres short of the 4 meter mark with a long bonnet. There is not enough boot space and so the interior seems cramped.
The car would be available in both petrol and diesel variants. The body has a fluidic design and it is equally attractive as other cars. The front panel might be similar to the Hyundai 2014 i10 model. There might be some improvements in the handling and suspension of previous i20s. Technical details and dimensions are yet not available.
The mileage of the car will be a deciding factor as the car is meant mostly for city rides. Appropriate pricing is to be done to ensure the success of the car. If the car has to compete with the next generation Honda Jazz, it has to strengthen with further more safety features and other additions.
Honda has declared a premier of the vehicle at the 2014 Bangkok International Motor Show and later at the Auto Expo 2014 in India. However, there is no such news from Hyundai but they might be looking to launch it later in the same year.
Both the companies will be looking for strategically timing the launch so as to promote the cars and festive season seems to be the right time. It will be interesting how the Hyundai next generation i20 and Honda Jazz hybrid fare against each other and other rivals.