Geneva, Switzerland – Honda has debuted the revised Honda Jazz, sold in Canada as the Fit, at the Geneva Motor Show. The new model marks the return of a CVT automatic transmission to the hatchback.

Honda said that when its engineers set about revising the Jazz, a priority was to give customers an automatic transmission that would not affect fuel economy or CO2 emissions. The solution was to combine a CVT, similar to that seen in the first Jazz, with a torque converter. The converter replaced the start clutch arrangement of the previous CVT unit, giving improved parking speed driveability and better highway fuel economy.

The Jazz has also been given a makeover with reshaped front lights, redesigned front bumper, and rear red lights at the top and bottom sections. The interior uses darker dashboard plastic, chrome rings on the climate control display and air vents, new blue-and-black seat fabric patterns, and amber dash lighting. The flip-and-fold rear “Magic Seat” remains, made possible by the unique central fuel tank layout. The rear seat now also reclines a few degrees.

Changes to the suspension and steering settings have yielded significant improvements in ride and handling, the company said, with increased torque around the centre position of the steering wheel to give drivers more feeling.

Honda also presented the Jazz Hybrid, which will go on sale in March 2011 in many markets, marking the first time a parallel hybrid has been available to B-segment consumers. The compact Honda IMA hybrid system allows the car to retain its Magic Seat and 300 litres of cargo space.

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