Honda has released additional details regarding its new small hybrid car scheduled for introduction early next year.


The official product name and full product details will be announced later this year.


The automaker has managed to slim down the nickel-hydride battery pack to make the car cheaper to produce, resulting in the most affordable hybrid vehicle to date.


Honda says it will be offered as a five-door hatchback with seating for five passengers and will employ an exterior design concept that evokes the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle.


“Honda has been at the forefront of hybrid development since first introducing the Canadian public to hybrid technology with the launch of the Insight in 1999,” said Jerry Chenkin, executive vice-president of Honda Canada Inc.

“New advancements in technology and production systems are resulting in cost reductions that will allow us to make hybrid technology available to a new generation of Canadian car buyers at a more affordable price.”

There are also plans to introduce another unique small hybrid vehicle based on the CR-Z sports car concept, first seen at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, as well as a Honda Fit hybrid model.

Including the Civic Hybrid, these four gasoline-electric hybrid cars are expected to reach combined annual global sales of about 500,000 units.