Honda to launch Jade RS turbo wagon

Though the new Honda Jade, a three-row hybrid wagon, is still relatively fresh after debuting in Japan this February, the company is already offering a sporty, turbocharged gasoline-only variant.

The Honda Jade RS is the latest car to receive the new 1.5L direct-injection VTEC Turbo motor, slated to debut in the US on the next-generation Civic. In fact, the Jade is more or less a Civic wagon, but with a unique 2+2+2 seating configuration that trumps the similarly-sized Prius v. At launch the Jade RS will only be available with a continuously variable transmission as its only gearbox option.

However, the chassis does see some sporting improvements with a 15 percent increase in stiffness up front, and a 20 percent increase out back. Honda also adds chassis reinforcement braces under the floorpan to help cornering.

Visually, the RS distinguishes itself rom the hybrid with a mesh grille and dark chrome trim. 17-inch alloy wheels are also unique to the model. Red "RS" badges can be found front and rear, a throwback to the 1974 Civic 1200 RS, which upped power by 7 percent and had a sportier suspension. In essence, the RS was the first sporty civic, preceding the first Civic Si in 1986 by over 20 years. The Civic was canceled in Japan in 2010. The Jade RS debuts at the end of the month.

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