Khodrocar - Honda will launch a dedicated hybrid model in 2018 as part of a wider push towards electric power - and these pictures show an early mule testing its all-new powertrain.
The future car, which was confirmed at the Detroit motor show in January, will be built in the US and use a two-motor and combustion engine set-up. Our sources believe this is the powertrain beneath the cut and shut body of the devopment car seen here.
The mule is based on a previous-generation Honda City, which is a saloon version of the Jazz sold in other markets. A likely reason for the car's lengthened body is to provide space for its large battery packs.
The car's powertrain will be related to the one found in the current Accord Hybrid that’s sold in America, which features a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with electronic assistance. It produces 209bhp while offering 56.5mpg combined.
Honda hasn't commented on the test mule or even confirmed whether its future hybrid production model will make it to Europe, but it has stated that 50% of all new cars due to be released in the next two years will feature some sort of electrification in their powertrains. This suggests the drivetrain being developed here will make it to Europe in some form.
Takahiro Hachigo, president and CEO of Honda Motor Co Ltd, said earlier this year: "In the long term, electrified vehicles are key to the future of carbon-free mobility."
Honda's push towards electrification is a result of its ambitions to halve its total CO2 emissions, including those produced during manufacturing, by 2050, and is spearheaded by its halo model, the Honda NSX.