Honda has taken the wraps off its new City (which we know here in South Africa as the Ballade) in Thailand, with the sedan now offered with a turbocharged petrol engine.

Yes, the Japanese firm says the new Ballade draws its urge from a turbocharged 1,0-litre three-cylinder VTEC unit, offering the front wheels some 90 kW and 173 N.m (the latter between 2 000 and 4 500 r/min).

Honda claims the new engine – which is again mated with a continuously variable transmission (there's no mention of a manual gearbox in the press material) – provides “superior” performance to the outgoing naturally aspirated 1,5-litre four-cylinder powerplant, which in SA generates 88 kW and 145 N.m.

The company says the new model features a “more premium yet sportier look”, adding that a more aggressively styled RS variant will be sold in Thailand. The new model measures some 113 mm longer and 53 mm wider than its forebear.

Inside, Honda promises “unprecedented” ergonomics along with a “more spacious cabin” that incorporates an eight-inch touchscreen. In Thailand, the newcomer ships standard with six airbags, ABS with EBD, vehicle stability assist, hill-start assist and a reversing camera.

While local specifications (and, indeed, engine options) have yet to be confirmed, we expect the new Ballade to arrive in South Africa at some point in 2020.