Honda Malaysia must be one of its parent company; Honda Japan’s, favourite children as it gets the opportunity for the global debut of the all-new Honda City RS with a new Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) hybrid powertrain that will serve as the flagship of the four-strong range alongside the DOHC 1.5-litre i-VTEC mills in the rest of the trims.
It’s quite the departure from the marque’s current trend of introducing small-displacement turbo engines as the flagship of each range here but there’s plenty of other bells and whistles to get excited about in the City.
Order books are open for the new City but pricing has yet to be confirmed though we don’t foresee that being an issue with demand expected to outpace supply.
Together with the announcement that the orders are open, Honda Malaysia also decided to take a dump on the front yard of its chief competitor; Toyota. Now you must be thinking the Vios would be easy prey for the new City and you’d be right. So, Honda Malaysia actually went all out and took a shot at the Camry with claims of more torque. No better way to grab the world’s attention, right?
“The City has proven to be an important model for Honda Malaysia, a favourite among many Malaysians for its spaciousness, practicality and safety features. Since its introduction to the Malaysian market in 2001, the model has accumulated total sales of 351,000 units, with the most sought-after fourth-gen City which was launched in 2014 contributing more than 205,000 units and upholding its No.1 position in the B-segment,” said Honda Malaysia’s managing director and CEO, Toichi Ishiyama.
Slated for a Q4 2020 launch, the powertrain itself isn’t new with the Jazz debuting it but this will mark the global debut of it in the new City. Numbers are 108hp and 253Nm of torque from the 1.5-litre petrol engine and electric motor combo. It’s the best-in-class torque that the City decides to sucker punch the current Toyota Camry and its “puny” 235Nm of torque.
The i-MMD hybrid setup will only be available in the City RS with the usual suspects of the V-spec, midrange E-spec and entry-level S-spec City getting the updated DOHC 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine that makes 119hp and 145Nm of torque sent to the front wheels via a CVT.
With the new City, the RS and V-spec trim get most of the goodies such as LED headlights, Honda LaneWatch and 16-inch wheels while an electric parking brake is reserved solely for the RS. The rest of the range makes do with LED taillights and LED DRLs as standard.
Early bird bookers will get a RM1,000 service voucher under the “All-New City Special Early Booking Programme” with a one-year validity.
If you want to catch the all-new City RS in the flesh, it’ll be hitting the roads soon for a nationwide tour beginning at the end of the month.