Although our first taste of the 2013 Fit EV came during a pre-production drive last December in Japan, Honda still had something new up its sleeve when it was unveiled prior to becoming available recently for lease in California and Oregon. For its North American launch Honda added a multi-mode switch which allows owners to tailor electricity output in “Economy,” “Normal” and “Sport” modes much like in the CR-V hybrid sport coupe. With this new addition we were quickly reminded of how much we actually enjoy driving this unexpectedly sporty all-electric hatchback as it allowed us to stay green while indulging our own hooligan-like driving style.
In “Sport” mode the Fit EV is given the ability to chirp the front tires in a low RPM fit of torque which stems from the powerful 92 kw electric motor that works in tandem with a 20 kw lithium ion battery pack. On the fun to drive front we definitely applaud Honda’s continued use of a multi-link rear suspension as it well and truly helped maintain the Fit’s playful driving demeanor. It really is just as much fun to drive as the gasoline powered version, if not more so thanks to the electric versions superior power output.
For those of you out there who still haven’t wrapped their heads around the new power numbers used by electric and hybrid cars, the 2013 Honda Fit EV puts out an equivalent 123 horsepower/188 lb. feet of torque. Yes, you read that meaty torque figure right and it does mean that the electric Fit is endowed with all that accelerative force pretty much instantly as is the case in most electrics.
We are quite happy to report to driving enthusiasts that it is possible to start giggling like a schoolgirl who just met Justin Bieber when driving the 2013 Fit EV. Sure, its range is about 80 miles realistically but at the very least it offers and exciting counterpart to the 2012 Nissan LEAF which we tested as a comparison to the newly launch Fit EV. So move over Leaf, there’s a new green king in town.