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2008 Honda Jazz: Compact Ideas

Motoring Channel Staff - 29/July/2008

2008 Honda Jazz
2008 Honda Jazz

2008 Honda Jazz
Honda's new Jazz will incorporate a new 6-speed
auto transmission that is more efficient than a CVT

2008 Honda Jazz
Having grown in length and width, the
'08 Honda Jazz's versatility has improved

2008 Honda Jazz
With some of the lowest CO2 emissions and fuel usage
rates of around 5.1L/100km, the Honda Jazz is frugal

2008 Honda Jazz
The interior of the 2008 Honda Jazz
features a sporty new steering wheel

2008 Honda Jazz
With even more interior space, Honda will be
spruiking the Jazz as one of the roomiest in class

2008 Honda Jazz
The Mugen upgrades for 2008 Honda Jazz

Tokyo, Japan Launched at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, Honda is readying the new Jazz compact car (aka Honda Fit) for international sales.

It is expected to arrive in Australia later in 2008, and is headed for Europe soon.

The Japanese-made compact car has grown in size and it's new 'Ultra Seats' (sometimes called magic seats) can even be arranged into a makeshift bed for tired drivers. 

Like the Civic, the Jazz is one of Honda's best selling vehicles world-wide and an important vehicle for the company. If the Jazz does well, Honda does well.

The previous generation Honda Jazz totalled sales of more than two million units since it launched in 2001.

Australia was one of the first countries to add the compact car to its range, and the Honda Jazz VTi was the first CVT-equipped vehicle the Motoring Channel road tested, back in June 2003.

The new model gets a longer wheelbase, increased by around 50mm, which adds more interior room (rear leg room will benefit) and it also gets a new exterior design.

In Japan the Honda Jazz will be packed with a 1.3-litre 4-cylinder engine. Gearbox types for the new car include a 5-speed manual, 5-speed auto and a CVT auto. 

European drivers can choose from a super efficient 1.2-litre engine that uses just 5.1L/100km combined, with super low CO2 emissions of 120g/km.

The tiny 66kW (90hp) 1.2-litre engine may come to Australia, but the 1.3- and 1.4-litre engines are more likely.

The new new 1.4-litre engine (74kW, 127Nm) is likely to replace the previous 1.5-litre mill, and has fuel economy of 5.1L/100km when equipped with the i-Shift semi-automated manual transmission, which is down from 5.9L/100km for the previous CVT.

i-Shift: This new 'automated manual transmission' replaces the CVT in the new Jazz, and has 6-speeds. According to Honda, "the gearbox offers better fuel economy than is possible with either a true automatic or a CVT (continuously variable transmission)."

The frontal design of the new Honda Jazz borrows a few styling cues from the Honda Civic Hatch, while gaining a far more angular face.

The side profile of the new Honda Jazz isn't too different from its predecessor, though does have a slightly more swept look as the roof tapers downwards at the rear.

The interior has also benefitted from a number of changes, foremost of which is the high tech steering wheel, borrowed from the Honda Civic models. Much of the interior looks borrowed from the Civic, including the instrument cluster and dials.

The Jazz has been stretched by 55mm taking its length to 3.9 metres, and it's wider by 20mm for a total width of 1.695 metres, which allows the new compact car to occupy "its own unique niche between superminis and compact MPVs" says Honda, highlighting the new model's increased interior space.

The new Honda Jazz, known as the Honda Fit in North America, will compete against some tough domestic rivals in the form of the new Mazda2, the Toyota Yaris, and the Nissan Micra. 

Sales of the new model have begun in Japan and meanwhile a Honda Australia spokesman said that the new Jazz is "definitely coming" to Australia, but that it's too early for any specifics such as price, standard features and so forth. 

Honda Australia expects the new model to arrive Down Under in late 2008.

One Very Fit Mugen

Honda's official tuner Mugen (think HSV, AMG, Nismo, TRD etc) has also released images of the modifications it makes to the new 2008 Honda Jazz. These include two body kits, the first of which is the RS. The L/G Aero kit isn't quite as visually bold, but both add ground effects such as new front and rear aprons, side skirts and garnishes like shiny exhaust outlets and spoilers. 

The Mugen upgrades will also add larger wheels which, alongside tighter suspension, will improve the new compact car's grip and handling for drivers who like it sporty. 

At this stage the Mugen options are only going to be offered in Japan after the launch of the new Jazz. An exhaust upgrade is available, but engine tuning doesn't appear on the Mugen upgrade list.

Related Links:
- Honda OSM Concept (2008)
Honda Civic Hybrid (Road Test)
Honda Accord Euro (2008)
- Honda Accord Euro (Road Test)
Honda Crime Avoidance Sat Nav (2008)
- Mugen Honda Civic Type-RR (2008)
Honda HF-S Concept (2007)
- Honda Civic Type R (Road Test)
- Honda CR-V (Road Test)
- Honda Civic Type R - sedan (2007)
Honda CR-V (2007)
Honda Legend (Road Test)

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