Honda Jazz

9 Jan, 2007 (All day) Chris Thorp

The Jazz looks set for a major tune-up...

When an Auto Express reader spotted this Honda in a motorway ser­vice station, it stood out because of its scrappy taped-up wheelarches.

On closer inspection, it was clear this was no ordinary Jazz, but a mule being used to test parts for the firm's next-generation supermini. After the success of the new UK designed and developed Civic, Honda's British arm is now playing a major role in the Jazz project. But the big news is that the car will be offered with a diesel engine for the first time.

This spyshot shows how the five-door will be bigger all-round than at present. Sources in Japan have revealed that the fresh model will use the same basic chassis as its predecessor, retaining the groundbreaking central fuel tank.

The current car's clever five-seat lay­out, which sees the folding rear bench hinge down into the floor, is already class-leading, and it's set to be carried over with only a few minor tweaks. Other upgrades will include a fresh dashboard des­ign and better materials throughout. The existing model's 1.2 and 1.4-litre petrol engines are likely to be retained, but these will be joined by an efficient small-capacity oil-burner.

The new Jazz is expected to make its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in Oct­ober, before going on sale in 2008.

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