Price for Honda City RS e:HEV Announced

THE Honda City RS e:HEV might have been announced during the launch of the fifth generation City in October last year but it wasn’t available to be sold till its price was approved by the Government. This was initially scheduled to be released in January but that was deferred to March.

Hey, all good things come to those who wait and City enthusiasts could now get to own the flagship City RS e:HEV and all the ‘next generation’ e-TECHNOLOGY and exclusive trim that it comes with. As it were, at RM105,950.45 on the road without insurance, it’s some RM20,000 more than the City V model. This is the price with sales tax exemption that applies till end June; so it’s a good time to grab the opportunity.

In a way, the price unveiling confirms its debut appearance anywhere in the world, giving Malaysians the honour of being the first in Asia and Oceania regions to own such a Honda car. With Malaysia being a strong market for the City, it was only natural that this model variant be introduced here before other markets.

After all, it was mentioned during the City launch that almost 40 per cent of Honda hybrid models sold in the Asia and Oceania regions over the past five years were in Malaysia. This underlined the importance of the Malaysian market and why our nation was chosen as the launch base of the City RS e:HEV that reflects Honda’s e-TECHNOLOGY.

Seen as a game changer and ‘revolutionary’ move, what gives the City RS e:HEV its special status is its ‘highly efficient’ two-motor hybrid system that is powered by a 1.5-litre DOHC i-VTEC ‘intelligent’ Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) combination. With hybrid engines, the focus is more on high torque rather than power that could come into better play in quick and slow driving.

Thus, it’s no surprise that the double motor hybrid 1.5-litre engine delivers less power at 80kW (109PS) (compared to the non-hybrid engine) but a best-in-class high torque of 253Nm. The non-hybrid 1.5-litre engines of the other City variants deliver 88.9kW (121PS) (which Honda says is a best-in-class output) while torque is 145Nm.

The hybrid City RS e:HEV uses an e-CVT (electric continuous variable transmission) while the non-hybrid models have the normal CVT. The advantage of the e-CVT, as explained by Honda, is that it helped to deliver powerful and smooth acceleration equivalent to a D-segment normally aspirated engine torque. In operation, the e:HEV system would switch automatically among the three driving modes – EV Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive – in the most efficient way.

The City RS e:HEV also comes with Deceleration Selector Paddles that allow the driver to engage for power regeneration and decelerating the vehicle without using the brake pedal. The latter is very effective as we had enjoyed that ‘non-pedal braking’ experience while driving the latest Nissan Leaf EV (electric vehicle) almost two years ago.

The City RS e:HEV is also the first model to be equipped with the innovative Honda CONNECT technology. Honda Malaysia says it uses ‘smart Telematics Technology’ to bring connectivity to a whole new level for Honda car owners. Its advanced and integrated communications system is available 24-hours and functions to ensure ‘safety, security and convenience’.

In body styling, the City RS e:HEV commands its own presence with a new gloss black front grille, exclusive lower front grille, new rear bumper with diffuser, new gloss black boot spoiler and new gloss black door mirrors to give a sporty two-tone impression of the body colour. Full complements come in the LED (light emitting diode) headlamps, daytime running lights, fog lights with garnish and taillamps along with the dual-tone 16-inch alloy wheels.

The interior is boosted in ambience by high-quality textures and a ‘sophisticated premium feel’ that include a 7-inch interactive Thin Film Transistor (TFT) meter, Sport Pedal Pads, Ultrasuede seats with red stitching and 8-inch Display Audio with Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity.

Honda adds that the City RS e:HEV is also offered with the most complete advanced safety feature in the B-segment in the enhanced Honda SENSING. This is developed using wide view cameras in front to ‘better recognise road boundaries during day and night driving’ and realise the vision of collision-free mobility.

The suite of driver assistance safety systems in Honda SENSING includes Adaptive Cruise Control; Collision Mitigation Braking System; Forward Collision Warning; Lane Keep Assist System; Road Departure Mitigation; Lane Departure Warning and Auto High Beam. In addition, the Honda LaneWatch is a camera-based safety system that monitors blind spots through an infotainment system.

There is also the Remote Engine Start feature, another first in segment technology, which allows the driver to start the car via the keyless remote while the doors are locked and activate the air-conditioning system to cool the interior. That should be welcomed during the current hot spell. Another likeable feature is the Electric Parking Brake for the driver’s convenience.

The City RS e:HEV comes with three body colour options – Passion Red Pearl, Modern Steel Metallic and Platinum White Pearl. Honda Malaysia says more than 20,000 bookings for the latest City were made since its October launch last year and 13,100 cars were delivered to-date. With the flagship City RS e:HEV now available, City numbers look likely to expand further. - LPS