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Recently have been able to gain the following news:

The revised Jazz / Fit being introduced in 2007 will have an IMA/Hybrid version available. The Jazz/Fit will be sold in the American market for the first time as well.

From 2006 all IMA cars will only be available with CVT transmission. :shock: I do not believe this applies to the Insight and relates to the ability of the latest IMA technology to close all cylinders of the engine whilst on the move.

Insight facts I wasn't previously aware of:

There is a trickle charge of the 12V battery only during idle stop or if the 12V battery falls below 9.6V. Hence IMA difficulties if you have a 'bad' 12V battery as power is partly being diverted to the 12V rather than the IMA pack.

Using electric power steering (EPS) rather than conventional power steering increased efficiency of the Insight by 3%.

The efficiency of the Insight was gained proportionally from - Body Technologies (35%), IMA (30%) and Engine Technologies (35%). OK, this last fact wasn't that interesting :)
 

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Very interesting, thanks for bringing us all the news.

It's great to hear there will be a Jazz/Fit hybrid, maybe it will also help motivate Toyota to make a Echo/Yaris/Vitz hybrid. The smallest engine in the current Jazz is a 1.3L i-DSI VTEC that is almost the same as the Civic hybrid's engine, it lacks a few things and obviously the IMA components. I'm wondering if we'll see that Civic hybrid engine in the 400 pound lighter Jazz. For fuel economy, it almost only makes sense to pair a smaller engine with the IMA so hopefully we'll see a revised Insight's 1.0L IMA engine. It should be able to turn out an acceptable acceleration rate, provided they use the usual hybrid weight saving tricks (aluminum hood, alloy wheels, etc).

My quick and dirty calculations indicate that a Jazz hybrid's combined mpg would fall in almost exactly between the Insight and Civic hybrid (because its weight is right between the two). Taking the UK combined mpg numbers and converting to US gallons resulted in: Insight 67.5, Civic hybrid 47, and Jazz 38.5. The Insight and Civic have an almost identical ton mpg (weight in tons times mpg) so I raised the Jazz's to it (62.x) and resulted in 56 mpg. A bit of a weight loss for the hybrid version and the 5-6% improvement in the revised IMA could yield a 61 combined mpg. Roughly 10% lower than an Insight and maybe at a 20% lower price.

Then again, the US would probably see a 1.5L engine standard (anything less would be criticised to death), so even the 1.3L IMA engine would offer a decent improvement and bolt right in.

Do you happen to know if 2007 is a Europe specific date or worldwide? There have been so many rumors circulating about a revised edition. The speculation concerning just what exactly will come to the US next spring is absolutely maddening.
 

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"From 2006 all IMA cars will only be available with CVT transmission."

I really hope that's not true. If it is, I'm either going to have to keep the Insight for a long, long time, or figure out how to do a transmission transplant. Automatics should be considered assistive technology for the disabled.

"Using electric power steering (EPS) rather than conventional power steering increased efficiency of the Insight by 3%."

OK, but how much did it decrease efficiency over non-powered steering?
 

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Honda improving the computer control for the CVT is good news in the long run. IMA cars could definitely benefit from more refined software to adjust all the amazing hardware on the fly.
 

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The Citrus Smoothie said:
There is a trickle charge of the 12V battery only during idle stop or if the 12V battery falls below 9.6V.
This sounds interesting! Can you tell me more? Where did you find this? What does the trickle charge look like (current? is it constant or pulsed?)

I wonder hwo this relates to my observation of DC-DC converter behavior. In all my tests, it was basically on or off. When on, it is putting out constant 14V DC, charging the 12V battery at whatever current it needs to hold that voltage. Once the current drops below a threshold of a few Amps, the DC-DC shuts off and the 12V battery supplies whatever small loads there are, i.e. radio. When voltage drops below around 12V, the DC-DC goes back on. Repeat.

On the flipside, I found that the DC-DC refuses to start if the 12V battery is deep-discharged. I had drained mine (leaving the lights on) once. Managed to start the engine, but no DC-DC converter until after I charged the 12V using an AC charger. I just connected the charge for a few seconds, bumping up the 12V system voltage. The DC-DC came on and took over charging the 12V battery after I disconnected the AC charger.

Any thoughts?
 

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The Citrus Smoothie said:
Recently have been able to gain the following news:

The revised Jazz / Fit being introduced in 2007 will have an IMA/Hybrid version available. The Jazz/Fit will be sold in the American market for the first time as well.

From 2006 all IMA cars will only be available with CVT transmission. :shock: I do not believe this applies to the Insight and relates to the ability of the latest IMA technology to close all cylinders of the engine whilst on the move.
That's good news, I thought the Jazz would be perfect for Honda's anticipated 'baby IMA'. I would be up for one (unless a small engined diesel hybrid was released sooner).

I have also heard that the CRX is to be re-introduced to the US, probably in next gen Civic Si guise - or how about a 2 door Fit/Jazz with IMA :D
 

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Armin said:
On the flipside, I found that the DC-DC refuses to start if the 12V battery is deep-discharged. I had drained mine (leaving the lights on) once. Managed to start the engine, but no DC-DC converter until after I charged the 12V using an AC charger. I just connected the charge for a few seconds, bumping up the 12V system voltage. The DC-DC came on and took over charging the 12V battery after I disconnected the AC charger.

Any thoughts?
The control electronics for the battery pack require power from the 12 volt battery to function. So, if the 12 volt is dead, you can't use the battery pack for anything, including starting the car. This would logically also involve charging since the control electronics are required to charge the battery pack. (hidden or forced charging) Without that charging, the DC-DC won't charge the 12 volt, so even if you get the car to start the IMA electronics won't fire up, because it still doesn't have any power from the 12 volt.
 

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On the subject of next years Fit in the states, Autoweek is reporting this:

Fit or Jazz: American Honda Motor Co. will import a variation of the front-wheel-drive subcompact Honda Fit or Jazz. The Fit is sold in Japan; the Jazz is marketed in Europe. The vehicle is due to arrive here in the spring or summer of 2006 as a 2007 model, and it will be slotted below the Civic. Sources say it will be powered by a 1.5-liter engine, equipped with dual overhead camshafts. A hybrid version is likely.
I'd now wager that Honda will equip the Fit hybrid with an improved 1.0-liter Insight engine. The improvements to the engine and IMA system should be enough to handle the extra weight. A 60 mpg car that seats four, and without the exotic construction price. :D

Toyota has also just confirmed it will release a Jazz/Yaris based car next spring too. A version with their idle stop feature would likely be rated at 50mpg. Blurb from Autoweek:

Echo: This underachieving subcompact sedan gets replaced by the European-market Yaris this fall. The Echo name will be retired, but it is not known what name will be used. A sedan and a five-door hatchback will be offered. This 2006 vehicle likely will be powered by a 1.5-liter engine developing about 110 hp.
It'll be nice to see small, reliable, inexpensive, and high mileage vehicles from Honda and Toyota again!
 
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