What does the world need? Another hybrid, duh. Honda has just announced the arrival of the Honda Fit Shuttle, and Fit Shuttle Hybrid, which can achieve 30km/liter or, in US terms, 71 MPG. Toyota Prius V, your competitor is here.

The Fit Shuttle, which already has 7,000 pre-orders in Japan, is more of the Fit. The already-versatile compact gains a big ol’ butt for more cargo room, seats five, and gets gas mileage of 25 km/liter on the JC08 cycle, and 30 km/liter on the 10-15 fuel consumption cycle. The latter measuring method works out to about 71 mpg on the US EPA rating (though likely lower than that, given big differences between the testing cycles.) That is damn impressive for a five-passenger hybrid that has a starting price of about $22,400….$5,000 less than the five-passenger Prius V.

So how is this all possible? Honda provided a nifty chart showing that reduced brake rolling resistance, reduction of engine friction, and increased hybrid system control efficiency. It’d be awesome if they showed how much each of these improvements increased MPG, and I’m sure this technology will fit its way to other vehicles. This allowed the Honda Fit Shuttle Hybrid to achieve the same fuel efficiency as the regular Honda Fit Hybrid, which I have found to be a very versatile little vehicle. The Shuttle Hybrid only sacrifices about 70 liters of cargo space compared to the non-hybrid as well (517 liters for hybrid vs. 590 liters for non-hybrid.)

The Honda Fit Shuttle is even more versatile, and according to The Truth About Cars, it appears to be heading to the U.S. sooner rather than later. Just in time to compete with the Ford C-Max and Toyota Prius V. Funny how things work out, eh?

Not, if only they would make a hybrid Honda that also runs on natural gas…

Source: Honda via Treehugger | The Truth About Cars

Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.