The Honda Jazz Hybrid benefits most from the overhaul. The hybrid teams a newly developed 1.5-litre four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle petrol engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The latter is the brand's first dual-clutch gearbox, designed wholly in-house.
The Hybrid produces a combined 100kW of power and 170Nm of torque, up 28kW and 3Nm from the current 1.3-litre-engined Jazz Hybrid.
Despite the power and capacity increase, Honda claims the new Jazz Hybrid is 35 per cent more fuel efficient than its predecessor, which translates to an approximate combined cycle fuel consumption rating of 2.9 litres per 100km.
Unlike the current model, the new hybrid can also operate in zero-emission pure-electric mode over short distances, as well as hybrid mode with both the petrol engine and electric motor engaged, and engine-only mode.
As in the current range, a 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine will power conventional, non-hybrid entry-level Jazz models while a larger 1.5-litre will be offered in higher-grade variants.
The current five-speed manual and automatic transmissions make way for a standard six-speed manual, while an optional automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT) makes a return after being dropped for the outgoing, second generation model.
The images reveal the new Jazz in pre-production form with Japanese-market specifications but closely reveal the model set to arrive in Australian showrooms in 2014.
While retaining its taller-than-average hatchback form, the Jazz takes styling inspiration from the City sedan and Civic hatch, with angular headlights integrated into a single-bar grille. Heavily contoured creases mark the side profile, while the rear features tail-lights that extend from the rear quarter panels and up along the D-pillars.
Inside, the large infotainment screen and touch-sensitive climate control panel shown will likely make way for more conventional controls in lower-grade models.
A large circular speedometer flanked by digital displays dominates the instrument cluster, while most other fixtures including the air vents, dash, centre console and automatic gear lever are more squared-off compared with the outgoing car.
Full specifications of the third-generation Honda Jazz will be revealed closer to the official launch.
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