This story is brought to you by Honda Malaysia.
When hybrids first came onto the scene, they were viewed as something exclusive to those with a lot of spare cash, due to small production numbers and the general ‘newness’ of the technology.
Now though, there’s a hybrid vehicle on every street corner, with some municipalities and governments even adopting the technology on a grander scale to promote more environmentally-friendly public transport. Even Formula 1 uses hybrid technology now.
The small 1.6L V6 engines were featured as supporting technology for the Formula 1 2014 season.
Kicking off the hybrid era of Formula 1, the switch to smaller and more efficient engines signaled a changing tide in the world’s most lucrative racing sport. With such gargantuan power-to-weight ratios, it was hard to fathom just how these lightweight machines could even harness the immense power being produced by the game-changing engines.
In the years since the switch, it’s pretty clear that hybrid F1 engines are here to stay. Can you believe Formula 1 cars used massive 3-liter V8s and V12s prior to the Turbo engine supported by Hybrid Technology? Look how far it has come. Pretty impressive.
But what is it like to live with and own a hybrid car?
In terms of physical appearance, hybrids are identical to combustion engine cars.
People tend to assume that hybrid vehicles look and feel vastly different to their non-hybrid counterparts. You’re still in the same cockpit; you’re driving what’s essentially a normal car with some added benefits in terms of efficiency and decreased carbon emissions. However, it’s the things you don’t see that make all the difference.
Hybrid cars actually save you a ton on fuel in slow crawls and city driving.
In traffic, most hybrid cars will go into fully-electric mode, which means not a single drop of fuel is used to get the car moving. It’s only when higher speed is needed that the combustion engine kicks in. When put into ‘Sport’ mode, you’ll be able to drive around just as quick as regular combustion-engined cars. Convenient, especially when you need that extra kick. If you drive predominantly in city traffic, the fuel savings are extremely noticeable; as low as 3.9 liters per 100 kilometers!
Fun fact: Next to Japan, Malaysia is the only country to launch the Sport Hybrid i-DCD, Honda’s hybrid technology.
When driving in fully-electric mode, the silence can be deafening for the uninitiated.
When driving in stop-start traffic, most hybrid vehicles will disengage the combustion engine and rely solely on electric power. When this happens, you’ll notice something you wouldn’t in conventional cars – silence.
Diverse modes of driving to choose from.
With the advancement in technology, some hybrid vehicles come in more than two or more modes.
Honda’s Hybrid variants, like the Jazz Hybrid, City Hybrid, and HR-V Hybrid come with three modes: EV Drive Mode, Hybrid Drive Mode, and Engine Drive Mode.
Say for example the vehicle is ascending a steep hill or you want to accelerate or overtake another vehicle, the Hybrid Drive Mode kicks in to power up the engine thanks to its electric motor. This gives the vehicle added ‘oomph’ to climb up steep inclines.
Meanwhile, the Engine Drive Mode ensures smooth driving at normal speed. Cruising on EV Drive Mode on the other hand is for extremely relaxed driving and gas conservation.
On the highway, hybrids can be just as fast, if not faster.
Honda Sport Hybrid vehicles also come with the Sport-mode.
With a press of the “S” button, Honda’s hybrid lineup of vehicles can produce up to 137PS horsepower – equivalent to a 1.8L engine for the Jazz and City Hybrid models. There’s also Electric Power Steering (EPS) which ensures better, sportier response and handling.
Today, any hybrid will be able to drive just as quickly and powerfully as a non-hybrid on highway roads.
If you’re in the market for an efficient and equally-sporty hybrid, Honda’s lineup has got something just for you.
Packed with Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive (i-DCD), all three of Honda’s hybrid models, the Honda City, Honda Jazz, and Honda HR-V offer drivers the ability to seamlessly switch between an economical fully-electric mode and a thrilling sport mode with the use of an electric motor and combustion engine.
The Electronic Fuel Injection system gives the Honda HR-V, for example, the spritely boost of a 2.0L engine despite its 1.5L specifications. Do you see where this kind of tech is heading? The right direction, most definitely.
Want to experience real-world driving versatility and still have the power you need, when you need it?
It’s easy, get a Honda Sport Hybrid. With the reassurance of an efficient engine, it’s time to say hello to power, evolved.
To drive home your very own Honda Sport Hybrid, click here.
Cover image sourced from Rizal Johan/CarSifu.