Models paraded in clothes created by Malaysia’s top fashion designers and stylists Melinda Looi, Jonathan Cheng, Khoon Hooi and Cris Yong that were inspired by the car’s features and image.
But the star of the show was, without doubt, the All-New Jazz.
First introduced in 2001, the first-generation Jazz appealed to consumers as an unconventional car that exceeds their expectations of a compact car in terms of stylish design, reliability, practicality, fuel efficiency and drivability.
The global Honda model made an impressive cumulative sale of 2.3 million units worldwide with Japan, and the Asia and Oceania region accounting for half of its sales.
It also opened a new five-door hatchback segment in the region’s automotive markets, and bagged numerous awards from acclaimed research houses and automotive media in Europe, South Africa, Japan and Southeast Asia.
"The second-generation Jazz presents one of the toughest challenges in the development of a car of its kind as its predecessor had set such a high benchmark in the compact five-door hatchback segment," said Atsushi Fujimoto, Honda Malaysia managing director and chief executive officer at the unconventional launch of the All-New Jazz.
He described the All-New Jazz development as an ‘evolution’ that took the award-winning elements of the first generation and improved on them within the limits of price and size.
"This is much more challenging than changing a car’s total design; it pushes us to innovate further so that our customers get even more value out of the similarly compact All-New Jazz," he said.
Also at the launch event was Kohei Hitomi, chief engineer from Honda R&D in Japan, whose team took on the task of developing the second-generation Jazz.
The result is a premium compact five-door hatchback with further improvements from the first-generation Jazz, which includes its design, utility, drivability and fuel consumption.
Fujimoto added that the All-New Jazz will continue to appeal to determined young singles, both males and females, and discerning families who seek to be unconventional yet enjoy a car that is highly practical and reliable.
Key highlights of the second-generation Jazz are its dynamic exterior styling, best-in-class spaciousness and comfort, class-leading performance and drivability with good fuel efficiency, and advanced safety features.
Externally, the advanced super-forward form enhances the aerodynamic and energetic appearance of the car.
Internally, the cabin features an ingenious layout that increases spaciousness equivalent to an average medium-sized sedan, providing passengers a natural feeling of comfort.
It also makes way for an extended and larger wind shield which provides better visibility for the driver.
Another noteworthy achievement is its enhanced utility. It provides a variety of seating and trunk utilities that maximise seating flexibility and cargo space.
This includes extension of space and usage via the enhanced Ultra Seat, which operates in the Utility, Long and Tall modes.
These three modes enable car owners to load objects of different sizes into the car, enhancing the practicality of the car for today’s car owners and drivers.
The Jazz is powered by Honda’s newly-enhanced 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine, which combines with the five-speed automatic transmission (5AT) to offer excellent drivability, performance and fuel efficiency.
It comes in the 1.5-litre i-VTEC Grade S and Grade V variants, both of which command a power output of 120PS, which is the most powerful in its class.
While the Grade S offers all the essential features of the All-New Jazz, the Grade V variant offers additional features such as paddle shift, and exclusive fittings that gives the car a sportier look.
In terms of environmental friendliness, all variants have been designed to meet the Euro 4 emission level.
The safety performance of the All-New Jazz comes with the revolutionary G-CON technology with a body structure designed to spread out and disperse collision impact so as to limit cabin intrusion to effectively minimise driver and passengers as well as pedestrian injuries.
It is also fitted with dual SRS airbags and ABS system.
In Malaysia, the All-New Jazz is available in four colours: cerulean blue metallic; alabaster silver metallic; taffeta white; and crystal black pearl (available from November onwards).
To reward the first 300 customers of the All-New Jazz, Honda Malaysia has also commissioned the three designers to come out with the designs for 300 pieces of exclusive polo T-shirts, with each piece having its own unique design.
The All-New Jazz model 1.5S is priced at RM104,800 while the 1.5V goes for RM109,800, inclusive of insurance.