The fifth-generation Honda City would have already gone on sale in India last month. However, the entire world is bogged down in the unprecedented Coronavirus crisis to prevent which the nation is undergoing a prolonged lockdown. In fact, in the first 45 days of the lockdown no commercial activity or even small gatherings were allowed and the entire auto industry came to a standstill, recording zero domestic sales and production in April. Hence, it was not feasible for Honda Cars India to launch a product as important as the all-new 2020 City in this period.
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That said, the Japanese carmaker has confirmed that the sedan will go on sale in India soon after the lockdown is lifted as it has absolutely no intention to delay it further. Speaking to Siddharth Vinayak Patankar, Editor-in-Chief, carandbike on the latest Freewheeling With SVP webisode, Rajesh Goel, Senior Vice President & Director, Marketing & Sales- Honda Cars India said, "We do not intend to delay the launch, but as we start up the ramp up is going to be slower and we can't start at peak level, so that is going to have some significant impact. But if I can use the word, it is almost around the corner and once we can freeze the date, we will announce it to everybody." Though Honda is planning to launch the City soon after the lockdown is over, Goel has hinted that deliveries may take a while as the company will need four - six weeks' time to ramp up production.
There were also anticipations about the 2020 City going petrol only in the BS6 period but Goel has reaffirmed that it will be offered with both petrol and diesel powertrains as the carmaker still sees a sizeable market for compact diesel sedans in India. "The new City will be both petrol and diesel and the percentage share (of diesel) we have always had at various times anywhere is between 20 per cent and 25 per cent and that's also a segment where it makes sense for us to continue with the diesel," Goel added. That, the current-generation (fourth-gen) City will also be on offer alongside the new model and it will be a petrol only model.
Under the hood, the new City will get a new 1.5-litre BS6 compliant petrol motor churning out 119 bhp and 145 Nm of peak torque. The engine will be mated to a five-speed manual transmission as standard while a CVT automatic will be optional. The 1.5-litre diesel motor powering the current City is also expected to be upgraded to meet emission BS6 emission standards. In terms of dimensions, the new it is 109 mm longer at 4,549 mm, 53 mm wider at 1,748 mm, and 6 mm shorter at 1,489 mm than its predecessor while retains the same wheelbase at 2600 mm. The cabin has been completely revamped as well and now has a minimalistic design where most of the switches have been replaced with touch sensitive controls and it gets a new touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Honda Connect.