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 |  Aug 09 2010, 6:17 AM

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Honda will launch the Fit Hybrid at the Paris Auto Show this Fall, expanding the Japanese automaker’s hybrid lineup down-market. The new model will be the first hybrid sub-compact model offered and is possible because of Honda’s low-cost Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid setup.

While no official details have been released the car is expected to use Honda’s 1.3-liter 4-cylinder engine combined with a 9.7 kW electric motor for roughly 97-hp and 90 ft-lbs of torque. While no rocket-ship, it is expected to offer impressive fuel economy. Currently the Fit gets a rating of 28/35-mpg (city/highway) and the Fit Hybrid is touted to get a more economical rating than the Insight, which is currently ranked at 40/43-mpg.

And it won’t just be the engine that is helping reduce emissions and increase fuel economy as the hybrid Fit is also destined to get a new aerodynamic body kit, brake energy regeneration and a start-stop system. It’s also likely to get Honda’s “Econ” mode button, which limits throttle response to ensure a more efficient drive. Both a manual transmission and CVT will be offered in Europe where the car will be badged as the Jazz Hybrid, although it’s not yet clear if Honda intends to sell this new model in the U.S.

[Source: AutoExpress]