A single-motor hybrid system has been unveiled by Honda for use in a future generation of efficient small cars.
It will join the firm's drivetrain range of petrol-electric hybrids, which could pave the way for drivers to enjoy lowercar insurance if their vehicles are seen to be more reliable.
Honda's larger cars would have a two-motor system and high-performance cars would have three motors.
The drivetrain features a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder Atkinson Cycle engine, alongside a dual-clutch and seven-speed gearbox.
The range is said to improve driving efficiency by 30% when compared with a standard alternative hybrid which uses a single-motor system.
Honda says the engine type produces less heat thanks to its unusual valve timing.
The only downside seems to be that power is sacrificed in the overall process, although the company insists that the electric features would make sure that drivers still enjoy using their vehicles.
The engine would be engaged and disengaged via the dual-clutch transmission when the cars are running at low-to-medium speed, switching to electric-only power.
When needing faster acceleration or for cruising at higher speeds, the engine becomes engaged, with the clutches decoupling to allow energy to be recovered better.
Copyright Press Association 2012