Honda Motor Company unleashed a five-door subcompact hatchback, the Honda Fit, back in June 2001. The Honda Fit is based on the Honda’s Global Small Car Platform as that of City/Fit Aria, Airwave/Partner, Mobilio, Mobilio Spike, Freed and Freed Spike.
This vehicle is sold in Europe and some other countries of Asia, Australia. Middle East, Oceania and Africa with a name tag of ‘Jazz’ whereas the name tag used in Japan, China and some American states is ‘Fit’. The Honda Fit/Jazz is offered for sale in more than 115 countries across the world and is manufactured at ten plants located eight countries. The popularity of Honda Fit can be measured by viewing the statistics of its sales that reached about 3.54 million by 2010.
Within a few days of its release in Japan in June 2001, the Honda Fit became so popular, as the Honda Fit exceeded in sales than the Toyota Corolla by the end of December 2001. The car was also ranked the first for nine out of twelve months of the year 2002. Later, the Honda Fit introduced several other parts of the world including Europe (2002), Australia (late 2002), South America, South Africa and South-East Asia (2003), China (2004) and Mexico (2005).
At the Detroit North American International Auto Show, the production model of Honda Fit was revealed on January 8, 2006. However, the car was formerly introduced in Canada on April 3, 2006 and in United States on April 20, 2006. The first generation model of Fit in the North American markets was replaced by 2009 model that was released earlier in Japan in 2007 as 2008 model.
As for name, the Honda Motors first thought of giving its car the name tag of ‘Fitta’, however, renamed it to its present short form for the fact of realizing that the ‘Fitta’ is a very popular slang for vulva in many Nordic languages.
Honda introduced the second generation Honda Fit at the Tokyo Motor Show on October 17, 2007. Unlike first generation Fit, this vehicle features as longer wheelbase as well as wider and longer in overall length. However, the height of the vehicle should be kept the same for 2008 year model as well.
The vehicle is offered with two engines including the new Fit. A 1.3L i-VTEC will produce 98 HP (73 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 98 lb·ft (133 Nm) at 4,500 rpm and a 1.5L i-VTEC engine that produces a maximum output of 117 hp (87 kW) at 6,600 rpm and 106 lb·ft (144 Nm) at 4,800 rpm. These are offered with a five-speed manual, five-speed automatic (4WD only) and CVT transmissions.
The structural rigidity is increased to 164% by re-engineering the chassis.
Fit Hybrid (2010)
The production of Fit Hybrid started in October 2010 in Japan. This hybrid Fit gets a 1.3-litre engine and electric motor, with an estimated fuel economy of 3.3 liters per 100 kilometers. In Europe, the hybrid version will get a nameplate of Jazz Hybrid and will be available for sale somewhere in 2011.