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Old 11-12-12, 12:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Honda Civic Thread


Honda will unveil a refreshed version of its Civic compact later this month at the Los Angeles auto show. The 2013 Honda Civic promises a number of safety, comfort and styling enhancements.

The result of widespread complaints about the Civic's styling and generally cheap-feeling interior, the 2013 Civic will arrive in LA with heavy updates both inside and out.

The Civic will adopt new front-end styling for 2013, with the compact sporting an updated lower bumper with chrome accents, black honeycomb mesh grille, clear-lens corner lights and a more sculpted hood. Upper-trim versions of the 2013 Civic receive new integrated fog lights.

Out back the 2013 Civic gets a new-look bumper as well as a lower diffuser panel with a honeycomb mesh vent.

Honda says the 2013 Civic will boast an improved interior and more comfortable ride, but the Japanese automaker is holding off on revealing full specs until the LA show.

"The 2013 Honda Civic exterior refinements infuse Civic with a more youthful, premium style. Coupling these with additional changes beneath will ensure that Civic maintains its top-ranked status," said Vicki Poponi, assistant vice president of product planning for American Honda.

The revised 2013 Honda Civic is scheduled to arrive on dealer lots on November 29.

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Old 11-27-12, 03:22 PM   #2
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Ever since the introduction of the current model Civic, Honda has faced consistent backlash from reviewers in the media for its highly evolutionary redesign of the popular compact sedan. Despite high sales of the current Civic, Honda has gone back to the drawing board and revised the car with sportier styling and a higher quality interior for the 2013 model year. The folks at 9thgencivic.com have managed to photograph a production ready 2013 Civic in the real world, including a few shots of the interior.



The improvements are minor but significant. Outside the car has a revised front bumper and grill that is reminiscent of the new Accord. The headlights are now more in line with the Civic Si coupe. The rear end receives a new darker style tail light design treatment and a new trunk. Inside the design is largely unchanged but with more refined and upscale detailing such as faux stitching on the dash and faux aluminum trim around the air vents.



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Old 12-12-12, 05:20 AM   #3
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There are many cars in all over the world and i like many cars but Honda civic is my favourite car one of them.
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Old 01-08-13, 07:50 AM   #4
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LOS ANGELES -- Jay Guzowski was getting more nervous by the day.

As senior product planner for the redesign of the 2012 Honda Civic, Guzowski was shepherding the compact car from design freeze to market. But as he listened to others around the American Honda conference table -- with a year to go before the car's on-sale date -- he heard a disturbing refrain: The upcoming Civic was not good enough.

He had heard it before, but now there was a drumbeat from corporate managers, r&d engineers and dealers.

In 2009, Honda had witnessed the wreckage of the global economy after the Lehman Brothers collapse. The Civic's development had almost reached design freeze when Honda executives decided the car would seem too upscale for an entry-level offering. The content level needed to be reduced to reflect cautious consumer tastes. Honda Motor Co. CEO Takanobu Ito's decision to take content out of the 2012 Civic would delay the car's launch by nearly 6 months, from late 2010 to early 2011.

In the interim, though, industry scuttlebutt was that the competing Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Focus redesigns weren't cutting back on equipment and content just because consumer confidence had taken a hit.

The photos, renderings and prototypes confirmed just that. The new Civic looked cheap by comparison. The interior materials and fabrics chosen may have cut costs but were clearly inferior. The layout of the instrument panel and center cluster was cluttered and jumbled, with too many cut lines and low-grade plastics. Changes to the exterior styling were barely discernible from the outgoing model.

"The feedback we heard was loud and clear," Guzowski said. "I was taking the temperature and making sure it wasn't a 1-off we were hearing."

Guzowski looked at his calendar -- April 2010. Then 33 years old, he had been at Honda only a few years, after stints at Volvo Cars of North America and American Suzuki's ad agency, Colby & Partners. Guzowski, a former instructor at Art Center College of Design and analyst with Honda R&D Americas, understood when Honda stylists and engineers described their worries about the car. His next task was to steel himself to inform his bosses far up the executive ladder that their franchise car didn't measure up.

It was too late to save the 2012 Civic. All Honda could do was limit the damage.

"We read the market wrong," admitted Vicki Poponi, American Honda assistant vice president of product planning and a former executive at Honeywell's Garrett turbocharging division.

"After the Lehman shock, we thought there would be different consumer behaviors. We knew that unemployment would last a long time and that there would be recessional trends. We thought consumers would be more sparse in their needs and be tightening their belts. The Civic was going to reflect that world," Poponi said.

But after internal study teams expressed concern that the 2012 Civic was underwhelming, Honda executives faced a big decision.

Honda could let the Civic run for the traditional 3 model years of the 5-year cycle before implementing midcycle improvements. Or the company could deem the car's problems so deep-seated that they needed attention sooner.

The former would involve heavy incentive spending and hurt the brand's image. The latter would require replacing machinery and tooling before they were amortized and would strain Honda's r&d resources. Making big changes to a car before 3 model years also waves a red -- or white -- flag to the rest of the industry.

But the Civic is Honda's most crucial car. Although the subcompact Fit is beneath it in the lineup and the mid-sized Accord is often a bigger seller, the Civic is the main entry point to the brand.

The Civic was key in the trend of modified tuner cars among young buyers in the '90s. The United States represents almost half of Civic worldwide sales. Nearly 1 in 4 Americans who buys a Honda buys a Civic.

Through mid-2010, a few meetings with top management at American Honda -- including CEO Tetsuo Iwamura and sales boss John Mendel, as well as Honda R&D Americas President Erik Berkman -- showed that Honda couldn't wait. The possibility of damaging the brand was too great. A proposal to quick-change the Civic was sent to Toshihiko Nonaka, head of Honda R&D in Japan, who concurred.

"We saw that it wasn't going to be best in class," Poponi said. "We saw that we didn't go far enough. There was no wait-and-see, no gnashing of teeth or debates about what we have to do. Everybody was right on board."

Because Honda is a proudly lean organization, blame for the 2012 Civic could be assigned to many people. But after the car was unveiled with a thud, Ito publicly accepted the blame at the Tokyo auto show in November 2011, saying, "The ultimate responsibility rests with me."

The intimation was that Ito was ensuring that the 2013 update wouldn't fall short.
Civic virtues
Why the Civic is vital to Honda
• In 2012, it was the best-selling compact car in the U.S.
• In 2010, Honda sold more Civics in the United States than total vehicles sold by Mazda or the VW brand.
• 58% of previous-generation Civic buyers traded in a non-Honda.
• 57% of previous-generation Civic owners bought another Honda.
Source: Honda,
Automotive News Data Center
Playing for pride


The 2013 Civic has a black-on-black interior fabric choice, a Honda mainstay that had been left out of the 2012 model.

Fortunately for Honda, the decision to quick-change the Civic was made as most development team members were putting the final touches on the 2012 model. They had not yet been reassigned to their next projects. With the decision to fast-track the update, the team stayed in place, including chief engineer Mitsuru Horikoshi.

"Normally, there are different chiefs for [the redesign] and the minor model change," Poponi said. "But the 2012 Civic development team wasn't fully disbanded, so they just stayed with the process. There was no loss in the cadence."

Guzowski said there was "very little downtime getting people up to speed" in making the changes.

"Honda is a very flat organization. Everybody is involved all the way through the process,"
Guzowski said. "Everyone had tangential knowledge of what needed to be done. There were no secrets."

Besides, the existing team was playing for pride.

"The team didn't want to give up, either. There was a lot of emotion and commitment involved," Poponi said. "If Honda were driven by financials, we wouldn't have done this. We never asked if this was financially right for the company. We knew we had to do what was right for the customer and that the rewards would follow."

Meanwhile, Honda's marketers had to sell the existing car. The media introduction in March 2011 may have revealed that the automaker knew of the 2012 Civic's shortcomings. A brief drive through clogged Washington morning-rush traffic led to a parking lot at FedExField, where a short, uninspiring autocross course gave little insight. Honda returned journalists to their hotel via bus rather than having them drive back in Civics. But even the fleeting drives were revealing.

Scathing reviews began arriving in the media. In July, Autoweek said the Civic "has lost its way in the world." In August, Consumer Reports removed the Civic from its "recommended" list for the first time in memory, describing it as "cheap" and "insubstantial." In October, a Wall Street Journal review called it "a dud" and "a betrayal."

Making the fixes


But by the time those articles were published, Honda engineers were well into updating the car. Those reviews merely confirmed what the automaker knew.

"Our decision to refresh and shift was made way before Consumer Reports," Poponi said.

With a nearly clean slate, Honda planners and engineers looked at the needed changes. The deadline: in time for the 2013 model year, or about 18 months from the launch of the 2012 model.

"We looked at what were the drivers of the discontent," Poponi said. "Mostly, it was that the instrument panel was too busy and the car overall lacked a premium feel."

There were limits to what could be changed. Redesigning too many components or their locations would require new engineering, more crash tests and tens of millions of dollars in modified assembly line tooling. And with the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami crippling Honda's Japanese r&d operations, American Honda and Honda R&D Americas had to pick up much of the development slack.

Still, the list of changes was lengthy. The instrument panel layout was redone to remove clutter and reduce the number of irritating seams between components. The instrument panel's rice-paper pattern was replaced with a more traditional embossing. The faux "piano-black" surface surrounding the climate-control buttons was made less shiny and plasticky. The swirl pattern of the seat fabric was changed. A black-on-black interior choice -- a Honda mainstay left out of the 2012 model -- was added. On the outside, the hood and trunk were given sportier designs. More noise-canceling underbody sheeting was added.

The quick change provided another side benefit for the Civic. For the 2013 model year, Honda was planning to introduce its Advanced Compatibility Engineering II, or ACE II, body structure for the redesigned Accord. The additional longitudinal braces in the front crash structure would improve the Accord's safety rating in the new frontal offset tests.

Normally, such a dramatic structural change would have had to wait for the Civic's midcycle change in the 2015 model year. But because the team was pulling ahead the program, it incorporated the ACE II body structure into the 2013 Civic.

"We didn't just plan this car to countermeasure the obvious shortfalls," Poponi said. "We wanted to leapfrog."

But just because the product planners and engineers wanted to make changes, that didn't make them so. Updating assembly lines takes weeks, if not months, and the pressure was on.

"We asked the people in the factory to redo things they had just done," Poponi said. "Doing this sort of thing comes from the bottom up. Even if leadership wanted to do it, the shop floor could have dragged their feet. They worked their fannies off."

Moving the metal

Even though Honda knew a fix was on the way by the end of 2012, that didn't eliminate the problem with selling the 2012 Civic for 18 months.

"We knew we would hurt residuals with high incentives. And we don't do fleet, so we had fewer tools to manage,"
Poponi said.

Online interest in the car plummeted quickly after launch, according to data from Compete Inc., a market research company. Honda was losing ground to new launches from Hyundai and Ford. Fortunately for the company, American Honda Finance's strong credit rating and opportunities for low borrowing rates allowed the sales arm to promote attractive lease deals to help move the metal.

The outgoing 2011 Civic had lower incentives than the compact segment average -- often by several hundred dollars -- until the final months' sell-down when incentives spending spiked. But within months of the 2012 Civic launch, Honda opened the incentives spigot, even as the economy recovered, according to TrueCar.com data.

Incentives on the Civic climbed from $901 in September 2011 to $1,988 in February 2012, while average segment incentives rose from $1,102 to $1,367. Through summer, Civic incentives remained around $1,700 per unit, often several hundred dollars above the segment average, according to TrueCar.com.

In the last months of 2012 sales, American Honda Finance offered a $1,999-down, $149-a-month lease, although some dealers whacked the down payment to 0. Honda also launched a stair-step volume incentive for dealers to encourage them to clear out inventories.

Honda executives were forthcoming in saying the Civic was on a short cycle for its changes while the original 2012 Civic was still on sale. The disclosure was unusual for Honda, which usually refuses to discuss upcoming product for fear of hurting the old model's sell-down. The remaining 2012s would be pitched as solid deals for value-minded shoppers.

For all the teeth gnashing in the media about the Civic, dealers loved the car. Despite its shortcomings, it was among the segment leaders in sales once post-tsunami inventories reached normal levels. Through November, the Civic outsold the 2nd-place Toyota Corolla by 18,523 units and the 3rd-place Ford Focus by 61,473 units.

"The '12 was a great car. Only the press disliked it. The buyers loved the car and bought it in big numbers. We would have done fine with no change at all," said Dave Conant, CEO of Conant Auto Retail Group in Los Angeles, which includes Norm Reeves Honda, 1 of Honda's top-volume dealerships.

"Could it have been better? Yes, I suppose. Did the press expect more? I guess. But the car was a great car regardless," Conant added.

All told, when the 2013 model arrived in November, Honda added more than $500 of content, while raising the price of the sedan LX trim level by $160. Honda does not offer the base DX trim with the 2013 sedan. Sales of the 2013 sedan began Nov. 29, with other models following through Feb. 6.
A process problem

Although Honda heralds the 2013 Civic as a triumph of a lean company moving quickly, Jim Hall, managing director of the 2953 Analytics consultancy, sees a cultural problem that Honda must address.

"What's radical about the whole program was that they let the Civic get that bad before they had to fix it in this way,"
Hall said. "The program should not have gotten far enough along to have been approved in the 1st place."

But Honda already had delayed the 2012 Civic redesign once to reduce the content level. Should the company have delayed it again to get it right, even if it meant carrying the previous version that much longer? Hall says yes.

"This was not a cheap fix. They had to pull tooling ahead and they had to scrap tooling that won't have the required number of strikes to amortize it," Hall said. "The interesting thing is that they bit the bullet. But this year's car should have been last year's product."

What's more, Hall worries that Honda may be celebrating a near-miss, when it should be looking deeper at what allowed the 2012 Civic to happen at all.

"It wasn't a bad product, but it wasn't good enough to be a Honda. They approved it willingly," Hall said. "They have to fix their processes or else this becomes the norm."

Meanwhile, Honda may not be done with the Civic. With 4 model years remaining in the Civic's life, more changes could be down the road.

"Our intent is to keep Civic the best vehicle in the segment,"
Poponi said. "We won't sit on our laurels. We'll react. We can't say, 'This is it.'"

Key events

Spring 2009: Honda CEO Takanobu Ito orders decontenting of the 2012 Civic, delaying the scheduled fall 2010 launch by 6 months.
April 2010: Initial internal reports indicate the final 2012 Civic redesign is inferior, but it's too late to make changes and delay the car again.
Summer 2010: Honda execs consider moving up Civic midcycle changes to fall 2012 from spring 2014.
Winter 2010: Short-cycling is approved and midcycle change work begins.
March 2011: 2012 Civic is unveiled to media; earthquake/tsunami devastate Japan.
April 2011: 2012 Civic goes on sale.
August 2011: Consumer Reports removes Civic from “recommended” list.
Fall 2011: Web traffic for Civic plummets.
October 2011: Honda discloses pull-ahead of Civic's midcycle changes.
Spring-summer 2012: Civic incentives soar.
November 2012: 2013 Civic debuts at Los Angeles Auto Show; sedan goes on sale.

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Old 03-25-13, 01:59 AM   #5
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So sexy! I'm so impressed to this Honda Civic! Not just to it's appearance but the quality of every parts of this car!
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Old 05-28-13, 07:33 AM   #6
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In an era when most manufacturers are turning to the comparative complexity of hybrid drivetrains and their attendant battery packs in pursuit of ever-loftier fuel-economy goals, it’s refreshing to see Honda strive for incremental gains in efficiency by making just a few simple and inexpensive tweaks. The trick in this approach, however, is discovering how close to the bone 1 can cut before a general feeling of cheapness permeates the vehicle, as even the most committed skinflints have limits.


Choice Cuts

The entire Civic lineup underwent a rush makeover for the 2013 model year, and most of the changes that affected the outcome of our recently tested 2013 EX-L Sedan also apply to the HF. New front and rear fascias give the updated Civic a more mainstream look, while a brawnier front structure (to handle future offset crash-test requirements), retuned dampers, beefier anti-roll bars front and rear, and a tighter steering ratio (from 16.1:1 to 14.9:1) help restore the dynamics that previously put the Civic into the tiny segment we like to call “thrifty compacts that are actually pretty enjoyable to drive.” Inside, the materials get an upgrade, and sound deadening is improved via additional insulation and thicker glass.

The Civic HF’s quest for frugality is carried out by a few simple and relatively low-tech enhancements. The short list includes a set of wind-cheating 15-inch aluminum wheels, an aerodynamically efficient rear decklid spoiler, some additional under-body covers—the same pieces as found on Civic hybrid—and a set of low-rolling-resistance tires. To save a few pounds, the spare tire has been tossed overboard in favor of an aerosol tire-repair kit and Honda’s 24-hour assistance. Road-ready, our Civic HF tipped the scales at 2713 pounds, a full 163 less than the 2876-pound 2013 EX-L we tested previously, and 158 less than the 2013 Civic hybrid—that’s the equivalent of a major Costco haul or a freshman footballer.


What Price Efficiency?

Honda is not alone in its quest to wring every last mile out of a gallon of gasoline with a traditional powertrain. Dodge has the Dart Aero and Chevy fields the Cruze Eco, both of which come in just north of the Civic HF’s $20,555 price tag at $21,340 and $21,685 respectively. Unlike the HF, which is an automatic-only proposition, both the Dart and Cruze can be had with a manual transmission, which brings their respective price stickers to a more competitive $20,190 and $20,490. We haven’t had the chance to strap our test gear to a 2013 version of either, but we did eke 29 mpg out of a 2011 Cruze Eco in mixed driving.

EPA estimates, although a good starting point for making apples-to-apples comparisons, rarely tell the whole story. Branded with a 29/41 city/highway rating in EPA testing, we figured the Civic HF would come in just slightly better than the 27 mpg number our 2013 Civic EX-L earned in C/D testing; after all, its 28/39 EPA figures are just shy of the HF’s. But surprisingly, we smoked it. Our overall tested fuel economy came in at 34 mpg. That’s a 7-mpg improvement in return for just handful of rudimentary changes.


Mystery Meats?

Our model wore a set of hard and narrow 195/65-series Bridgestone Ecopia EP20s. Settled into the right lane with the cruise set at 75 mph, the average consumer would be hard pressed to determine the tires were optimized for efficiency. In town or on a twisty back road, however, things changed quickly. The low-rolling resistance tires began to howl at stunningly low limits, understeer building with speed. What’s worse, the adaptive electric power steering went from drowsy to darty with little warning, and kept its relationship to vehicle control veiled in secrecy. Grip registered at a lackluster 0.75 g on the skidpad, 0.2 g less than the 2013 Civic hybrid’s 0.77, and both paled in comparison to our 2012 Civic EX ‘s tested 0.82. If nothing else, the HF is a rolling study of just how significantly tires can affect a given vehicle’s dynamics.

Braking from 70–0 consumed 200 feet of tarmac, a negligible 4 feet longer than the Civic Hybrid, yet far off the mark of the 167-foot number put up by the 2013 Civic EX-L. In this case, the brake hardware shoulders as much of the blame as the tires. The HF and the hybrid still utilize a disc/drum (10.3-inch front, 7.9-inch rear) setup for stopping duties, while the EX has 4 discs (11.1-inch front, 10.2-inch rear). For 2013, only the bottom-rung Civic LX model shares in rear-drum misery with the HF and hybrid.

Accelerator-pedal inputs are transmitted to the engine via an electronic drive-by-wire system that shades the throttle progression for miserly action, and operating it is just about as exciting as it sounds. 60 mph comes up in a not-blinding 8.6 seconds, but keep in mind that’s 1.3 seconds quicker than the Civic hybrid. Despite the tight build and quiet ride, the HF still exudes a certain vibe of late-1980s austerity; maybe it’s the Tron-inspired (the original movie, not the sequel) graphics of the instrument cluster, or the narrow tires.

It may be built for thrift, but where the Civic HF truly shines is simplicity. For consumers who view automobiles simply as appliances necessary for modern life and dread the thought of navigating an order sheet, purchasing the Civic HF requires the buyer only select from 3 exterior colors: Taffeta White, Polished Metal Metallic, and Kona Coffee Metallic, each of which come with a predetermined interior color scheme. Any additional dress-up items are between you and the dealer.

Specifications >

VEHICLE TYPE:
front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

PRICE AS TESTED: $20,555 (base price: $20,555)

ENGINE TYPE: SOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, port fuel injection

Displacement: 110 cu in, 1798 cc
Power: 140 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 128 lb-ft @ 4300 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 5-speed automatic

DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 105.1 in
Length: 179.4 in
Width: 69.0 in Height: 56.5 in
Curb weight: 2713 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS:
0 to 60 mph: 8.6 sec
0 to 100 mph: 24.1 sec
0 to 110 mph: 35.4 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 9.0 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 4.6 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.8 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 16.7 sec @ 84 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 114 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 200 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.75 g

FUEL ECONOMY:
EPA city/highway driving: 29/41 mpg
C/D observed: 34 mpg
*Stability-control-inhibited.
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Old 06-04-13, 09:46 AM   #7
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The 2013 Honda Civic hybrid might not be quick, but its lightning-strike development sure was. After a fully redesigned Civic lineup debuted for 2012 to disappointment, Honda forced a speedy update down the pike. The fruit of its hurried labor has now ripened, and, impressively, the shotgun fix remedied many of the shortcomings, at least on the conventional Civic sedan. Now we’ve run the revised hybrid model through our testing to see how it was affected by the rapid re-launch.

Smile, It’s a Hybrid!

As with the entire 2013 Civic lineup, the hybrid inherits a rash of structural, chassis, and styling tweaks designed to turn the 2012 car’s frown upside-down and address its unsavory refinement levels, lackluster aesthetics, and floppy handling. And speaking of changing facial expressions, like other Civics, the hybrid inherits a pair of upturned chrome accents for the grille and lower intake, which impart a less droopy and sad-looking countenance.


Behind the revised look are slightly beefier springs, thicker anti-roll bars, and a stiffer front-end structure, which deliver subjectively better handling and body control than those of last year’s car. And thanks to a quicker ratio and reduced friction in the rack, the electric power steering is more accurate, too. The hybrid version, however, rides on fuel-economy-optimized Bridgestone Ecopia tires, their hard, narrow construction limiting lateral grip to 0.77 g on the skidpad. The low-rolling-resistance Ecopias also contributed to an abysmal 196-foot stop from 70 mph. So even though the 2013 car feels more tied down and responsive, lateral grip and stopping performances are unchanged from 2012.

Keep Calm and Slow Your Expectations

As mentioned, the Civic hybrid’s primary mission is to conserve fossil fuel. So it shouldn’t have been a surprise when a geriatric piloting a Buick Lucerne—apparently unaware of our impromptu race—poignantly demonstrated this truth by smoking this author from a stoplight. At the track, the hybrid took 9.9 seconds to reach 60 mph and topped out at just 111 mph. Even though the 2013 model still pumps 127 combined horsepower from its 1.5-liter gas engine and 23-hp electric motor, acceleration figures are 2-tenths of a second quicker and 1 mph lower than a 2012 hybrid we tested last year. And performance still trails off considerably when the battery pack is depleted. Despite our lead-footed driving style, we did manage 38 mpg—about 15 percent shy of its 44-mpg EPA combined figure and truthfully this hybrid’s most-important performance metric.


Since you’ll have plenty of time to soak in the Civic’s inner sanctum while trying to keep up with other slow-laners, it’s a good thing it’s been improved. The dash layout is a tad more conventional, and there are now better materials as well as a padded vinyl dashboard and upper-door trim. Added soundproofing, plus thicker windshield and front-side window glass—which took the edge off wind and tire noise—only added 2 pounds to our test car relative to an identically equipped 2012 model.

Despite the multiple updates and improvements, the hybrid’s price only inflates by a few hundred bucks, and bidding opens at $25,150. Our leather- and navigation-equipped test example rang in at a steep $27,850, but similarly optioned competitors such as the Volkswagen Jetta hybrid and Toyota Prius carry similar price tags.

Were it our money, we’d still check out non-hybrid, C-segment offerings like the Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, and Honda’s own Civic HF, which besides being capable of returning mid-30-mpg fuel efficiency for less money, are also quicker and more fun to drive.
Specifications >

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

PRICE AS TESTED: $27,850 (base price: $25,150)

ENGINE TYPE: SOHC 8-valve 1.5-liter inline-4, 90 hp, 97 lb-ft; permanent magnet electric motor, 23-hp, 78-lb-ft; combined power rating, 110 hp, 127 lb-ft; 20-kWh lithium-ion battery pack

TRANSMISSION: continuously variable automatic

DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 105.1 in
Length: 179.4 in
Width: 69.0 in Height: 56.3 in
Curb weight: 2873 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS:
0 to 60 mph: 9.9 sec
0 to 100 mph: 41.9 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 10.4 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 5.0 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 7.0 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 17.7 sec @ 79 mph
Top speed (drag limited): 111 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 196 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.77 g

FUEL ECONOMY:
EPA city/highway: 44/44 mpg
C/D observed: 38 mpg
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Old 06-24-13, 08:52 AM   #8
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Honda Motor Co.'s top executive for North America says Americans still favor small cars and good fuel economy, despite a recent boom in pickups that has fueled Detroit 3 market share gains.

To match that demand, Honda will deploy 1 of its Earth Dreams direct-injection gasoline engines in its Civic small car, confirmed Tetsuo Iwamura, executive vice president and regional director for the company's biggest market.

"Gasoline prices are stabilizing in the mid-$3-a-gallon range, and Detroit is selling quite a few pickups," Iwamura said. "Yet while the average person sees those numbers, their income hasn't risen that much. It's wrong to say Americans don't care about fuel economy. They care."

Honda, bringing out a redesigned Fit small car in Japan this fall, eventually will upgrade its Civic compact sedan with Earth Dreams technology to deliver better fuel economy, Iwamura said.

The Earth Dreams suite of technologies, unveiled in November 2011, encompasses 4 new gasoline engines with direct injection and double-overhead cams, a turbocharged diesel engine, 3 redesigned continuously variable transmissions and 3 new gasoline-electric hybrid powertrains.

But an Earth Dreams engine has yet to be installed in the bread-and-butter Civic. That car was freshened in a rush for the 2013 model year after its 2012 redesign was panned. It faces steeper competition this year from an overhauled and sportier Toyota Corolla.

Iwamura said the Earth Dreams upgrade for the Civic would come when the car is re-engineered or redesigned, not when it gets just a freshening.

He declined to say when it will come. But Iwamura said cars are re-engineered typically every 2 years or so. That could put an engine swap on schedule for the 2015 model year.

"We'll be doing it for the Civic. The Civic has to evolve," Iwamura said. "But we have to consider what timing works best."
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The Honda Civic, America's best-selling compact car, extends its competitive lead and value for customers with a long list of enhancements for the 2014 model year. Building on the model year 2012 redesign and model year 2013 major refresh, the 2014 Civic features exciting and innovative upgrades including:
New sportier exterior styling for Civic Coupe and Civic Si Coupe
Interior styling upgrades for all Civic models
New available CVT that enhances performance and fuel efficiency
New available Display Audio with 7-inch pinch, tap and swipe touchscreen
Increased engine performance on all models except Natural Gas and Hybrid
Civic HF achieves a class-leading 35 mpg combined EPA rating
New available features include Honda LaneWatch™ blind spot display and Smart Entry with Push Button start

"Year over year, we have continued to strengthen the competitive position of Civic with new performance, features and value for the money, and 2014 is no exception,"
said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda. "This 2014 Civic is our best offering yet, and makes Civic not just the best-selling, but once again the outright best pick in the compact class."

The 2014 Honda Civic Sedan and Coupe launch at Honda dealerships nationwide on December 4, 2013, followed by the Civic Hybrid and Civic Natural Gas early in 2014, and the Civic Si Coupe and Si Sedan in the spring.


Civic Coupe styling and performance
Following a major refresh of Civic Sedan styling for 2013, Honda turns its attention to the Civic Coupe, implementing a host of exterior design changes that include a more aggressive grille, fender, hood and headlight design. Additional Civic Coupe exterior changes include new taillight lenses, sportier front and rear bumpers, new side mirrors and new wheel designs, with larger size wheels on some models. Inside, a host of premium interior refinements were applied to all models, including new seat fabrics, door panel trim and audio panel color coordination.

The Civic Coupe also receives additional performance enhancements, including revised suspension tuning with higher spring rates and a stiffer rear stabilizer bar. A revised exhaust system raises power output by 3 horsepower to 143 hp2 and 1 lb-ft of torque to 129 lb-ft3. For added driver engagement, the Civic EX and EX-L Coupe models feature new steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

New Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
Adding to Civic fuel-efficiency and fun-to-drive performance, an all-new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) replaces the 5-speed automatic in both the Coupe and Sedan (except Civic Natural Gas); the Civic Hybrid retains its current CVT. The new CVT enhances responsiveness by providing quicker and smoother acceleration and improves fuel efficiency with a 22 percent wider ratio range and reduced internal friction. The new CVT contributes to higher EPA fuel economy ratings1 of 30 mpg city (+2 mpg; +1 in models equipped with paddle shifters) and 33 mpg combined (+1 mpg). The even more fuel-efficient Civic HF improves to an EPA-rated 42 mpg highway (+1 mpg).

Civic Si styling and performance
The Civic Si Coupe benefits from the same styling enhancements as the standard Civic Coupe but adds Si-exclusive design cues, including a unique lower front bumper garnish, larger rear decklid spoiler, and distinctive front and rear air diffusers. Both the Si Coupe and Si Sedan get larger, 18-inch wheels and tires with new wheel designs.

The performance-tuned Civic Si Coupe and Sedan also get revised suspension tuning, with higher spring rates, new dampers and stiffer rear stabilizer bar. Power is boosted to 205 horsepower4 (+4 horsepower) and 174 lb-ft of torque5 (+4 lb-ft) via a retuned exhaust system.


New Premium Features
New innovations and premium features abound on the 2014 Honda Civic. Standard and available features include a new 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen control center with optional navigation function, convenient Smart Entry with Push Button start, expanded view driver's mirror and Honda LaneWatch™ blind spot display for enhanced driver visibility, plus available auto on/off headlights and power driver seat with 8-way adjustability.

The 2014 Honda Civic Coupe and Sedan are available in LX, EX, EX-L and EX-L Navi versions. The Civic HF is available in a sedan body style. The Civic Si Coupe and Sedan are available in standard and Navi trims. Standard, Leather, Navi, and Leather Navi variants are available for the Civic Hybrid. The Civic Natural Gas is available in standard trim and a new Leather Navi version. The 2014 Civic Sedan and Coupe, including Si models, are offered in a new Modern Steel Metallic exterior color, while the Si Coupe and Si Sedan are available in a new Orange Fire Pearl.

Customers can view, build and price the 2014 Honda Civic at automobiles.honda.com/civic starting December 4, 2013, when the models arrive at Honda dealerships nationwide.

PHP Code:
CIVIC COUPE TRIM
    
EPA Fuel
Economy Ratings1
(city/hwy/comb)
          
CIVIC SEDAN
TRIM
    
EPA Fuel
Economy Ratings1
(city/hwy/comb)
Civic Coupe LX 5MT     28/36/31           Civic Sedan LX 5MT     28/36/31
Civic Coupe LX CVT     30
/39/33           Civic Sedan LX CVT     30/39/33
Civic Coupe EX 5MT     28
/36/31           Civic Sedan EX 5MT     28/36/31
Civic Coupe EX CVT     29
/38/33           Civic Sedan EX CVT     30/39/33
Civic Coupe EX
-L CVT     29/38/33           Civic Sedan EX-L CVT     30/39/33
Civic Coupe EX
-L Navi CVT     29/38/33           Civic Sedan EX-L Navi CVT     30/39/33
                  Civic Sedan HF CVT     31
/41/35 
Model Trim Level Features Upgrade Summary
The following tables list the upgrades made to each of the 2014 Honda Civic models and trim levels from the 2013 models.


PHP Code:
2014 Honda Civic Coupe
Civic Coupe LX     

    
New larger 16-inch steel wheels with new covers
    Exterior styling changes
    Interior styling changes
    Available 
New Continuously Variable Transmission
    Expanded View Driver
's Mirror

Civic Coupe EX     

Changed or added from LX:

    New 16-inch alloy wheels
    Available new Continuously Variable Transmission with paddle shifters
    7-inch Display Audio
    Smart Entry with Push Button start
    Honda LaneWatch™
    Automatic ON/OFF headlight

Civic Coupe EX-L     

Changed or added from EX:

    New Continuously Variable Transmission with paddle shifters
    New larger 17-inch alloy wheels

Civic Coupe EX-L Navi     

Changed or added from EX-L:

    7-inch Display Audio with Honda Satellite-linked Navigation 
PHP Code:
2014 Honda Civic Si Coupe
Civic Si Coupe     

    
New larger 18-inch alloy wheels
    Exterior styling changes
    Interior styling changes
    7
-inch Display Audio
    Smart Entry with Push Button start
    Expanded View Driver
's Mirror
    Honda LaneWatch™

Civic Si Coupe w/ Navi     

Changed or added from Si:

    7-inch Display Audio with Honda Satellite-linked Navigation 
PHP Code:
2014 Honda Civic Sedan
Civic Sedan LX     

    Interior styling changes
    Available 
New Continuously Variable Transmission
    Expanded View Driver
's Mirror

Civic Sedan HF     

Changed or added from LX:

    New Continuously Variable Transmission

Civic Sedan EX     

Changed or added from HF:

    Available new Continuously Variable Transmission
    7-inch Display Audio
    Smart Entry with Push Button start
    Honda LaneWatch™
    Automatic ON/OFF headlight

Civic Sedan EX-L     

Changed or added from EX:

    New Continuously Variable Transmission
    New larger 17-inch alloy wheels
    8-way power driver'
s seat

Civic Sedan EX
-L Navi     

Changed 
or added from EX-L:

    
7-inch Display Audio with Honda Satellite-linked Navigation 
PHP Code:
2014 Honda Civic Si Sedan
Civic Si Sedan     

    
New larger 18-inch alloy wheels
    Interior styling changes
    7
-inch Display Audio
    Smart Entry with Push Button start
    Expanded View Driver
's Mirror
    Honda LaneWatch™

Civic Si Sedan w/ Navi     

Changed or added from Si:

    7-inch Display Audio with Honda Satellite-linked Navigation 
PHP Code:
2014 Honda Civic Hybrid
Civic Hybrid     

    Interior styling changes
    7
-inch Display Audio
    Smart Entry with Push Button start
    Expanded View Driver
's Mirror
    Honda LaneWatch™

Civic Hybrid w/ Navi     

Changed or added from Civic Hybrid:

    7-inch Display Audio with Honda Satellite-linked Navigation 
PHP Code:
2014 Honda Civic Natural Gas
Civic Natural Gas     

    Interior styling changes
    7
-inch Display Audio
    Honda LaneWatch™
    Expanded View Driver
's Mirror

Civic Natural Gas w/ Leather and Navi     

Changed or added from Civic Natural Gas:

    7-inch Display Audio with Honda Satellite-linked Navigation
    Heated front seats
    Leather seating surfaces
    Heated side mirrors
    6 speaker audio
    Auto A/C 

Powertrains
For 2014, the gasoline engine powered Civic Sedan and Coupe models receive an all-new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) to replace the 5-speed automatic transmission on most 2013 models. Paddle shifters are available on the Civic Coupe CVT. A manual transmission is still available on the LX and EX trim Sedan and Coupe. The Civic LX, EX, EX-L, EX-L Navi and Si models get a power and torque boost.

The Civic's responsive i-VTEC® 1.8-liter 16-valve 4-cylinder engine, producing 143 horsepower2 and 129 lb-ft of torque3, is now available with a new performance- and fuel- efficiency enhancing CVT (replacing the 5-speed automatic transmission). Providing a wider gear ratio range than the previous 5-gear automatic, the CVT delivers quicker and smoother acceleration as well as improved fuel efficiency. Fuel economy ratings are 30/39/33 city/highway/combined, an improvement of +2 mpg city (+1 mpg improvement for models equipped with paddle shifters) and +1 mpg combined compared to 2013 models equipped with the 5-speed automatic. The new, 12-percent lighter CVT transmission has increased efficiency through reduced internal friction and a 22-percent wider ratio range. On the Civic Coupe EX and EX-L models, the CVT transmission can be controlled with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters to provide a more engaging driver experience. D mode is fully automatic, however the paddle shifters can be used to downshift the transmission for greater engine braking for situations such as descending a steep hill. The transmission can also be upshifted in D mode. When the paddle shifters are used in D mode, full automatic operation will resume after a short time. For spirited driving, S mode includes 7 ratios and maintains the selected ratio until the driver operates the paddle shifters again. The system will only shift automatically to prevent over revving the engine or lugging.

To increase the excitement level of the Civic Si models' exhilarating driving experience, refinements to the exhaust system increase engine performance to 205 peak horsepower4 and 174 lb-ft of torque5. This is an increase of 4 horsepower and 4 lb-ft of torque over the previous model. The Civic Si is powered by an i-VTEC® 2.4-liter DOHC 16-valve engine mated to a close-ratio, 6-speed manual transmission. The Si also includes as standard equipment a helical limited-slip differential. The performance differential helps minimizes front wheel slippage for enhanced steering precision when accelerating and cornering.

The 2014 Civic Hybrid features a 1.5-liter, 8-valve, 2-stage i-VTEC® 4-cylinder gasoline engine equipped with Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA®) system coupled with a Lithium-Ion battery pack, producing 110 horsepower6 and 127 lb-ft of torque7. The 2-stage i-VTEC system cuts off all 4 cylinders, allowing the electric motor to propel the car at low speeds or while cruising on a level surface. The cylinders also cut off during deceleration for friction reduction. Paired to its existing Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), the Civic Hybrid achieves a combined EPA rating of 46 mpg1. All Civic models except the Coupe Si and Sedan Si feature Honda's ECO Assist™ technology, which can help drivers operate the vehicle more efficiently.

The Civic Natural Gas is powered by a 1.8-liter, 16-valve, SOHC 4-cylinder engine, paired with its existing 5-speed automatic transmission that produces 110 horsepower8 and 106 lb-ft of torque9. The engine is extremely clean and achieves California's AT-PZEV emissions standards. To attain AT-PZEV status, the vehicle must be a Super-Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle (SULEV) with zero evaporative emissions and must carry a 15-year/150,000-mile warranty on emission equipment10. Since its introduction in 1998, the CNG-burning Civic has consistently been 90% cleaner than the ULEV standard.


Body
The Civic Coupe's youthful and sporty nature is amplified with fresh and aggressive styling changes for 2014. The dynamic capabilities of the coupe are portrayed by a bold new grill, headlights and taillights, and sculptured hood, front fenders, side mirrors and rear bumper. The high-performing Civic Si Coupe is further enhanced with exclusive and uniquely styled grill and front and rear fascia. The coupe's sporty styling cues continue with premium, athletic looking redesigned wheels. The Civic LX Coupe gets larger 16-inch steel wheels, the EX Coupe receives new 16-inch alloy wheels, the EX-L gets larger 17-inch alloy wheels and the Civic Si Coupe receives larger 18-inch alloy wheels with a new design.

Changes made to the Civic Sedan, Civic Si Sedan, Civic Hybrid and Civic Natural Gas in 2013 continue to provide a sporty and upscale look and are enhanced for 2014 with some trims receiving new wheel designs. The Civic EX-L and Si Sedan get the same upgraded 17-inch and 18-inch alloy wheels as those on the restyled Coupe EX-L and Si.

Chassis
For 2014 the Honda Civic LX Coupe and Si models receive upgraded suspension tuning to enhance steering response and roll feel. In 2013 the Civic lineup benefitted from substantial changes to enhance handling refinement and noise isolation. These included a reworked Electronic Power Steering (EPS), suspension spring changes and thicker stabilizer bars with new Teflon-lined mounting bushings. Other upgrades include larger diameter front brake rotors on some models for better stopping power, and a host of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) countermeasures to reduce road, engine and wind noise.

Interior
Several refinements to the 2014 Civic interior further enhance its youthful and sporty, yet advanced and premium appearance. The Civic LX and EX models, Civic HF sedan and standard Civic Natural Gas receive upgraded seating and door panel fabric with an enhanced premium texture. The Civic Si seats are changed to further enhance the sporty look with exclusive seat fabric and decoration. The interior of sedan models come in black, gray and beige options, coupe models have black or black and gray color schemes, and the Si comes in a dynamic black and red. The audio panels of the Civic Coupe and Sedan have been upgraded with premium finishes: the LX trim gets a new painted panel, while the EX and EX-L receive an advanced brushed metallic treatment. The Civic Si gets a high tech and sporty carbon fiber-styled design. The Civic Natural Gas receives leather seating surfaces on the new top-of-the-line Leather and Navi trim.


New Display Audio Interface
For 2014, all Civic model trim levels except LX include the all-new 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen. The intuitive and easy-to-use Display Audio lets you swipe, tap and pinch – just like on a tablet computer or smartphone – to control the vehicle's audio system, display settings and other advanced features. The Civic Coupe and Sedan EX-L, Civic Hybrid and Civic Natural Gas with Navi models include the Display Audio with a fully integrated and fully featured Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System ™ with continuously updated traffic information11.

Safety
At Honda, safety is always a top priority and the 2014 Civic is a prime example of that focus. Civic safety begins with the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure that was redesigned in 2013 to provide increased protection to vehicle occupants in a frontal collision, including front end structures to help disperse crash energy in narrow overlap frontal crashes. The 2014 Civic's safety technologies also include standard dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags, an anti-lock braking system (ABS), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®)12 with traction control, a tire pressure monitoring system, Daytime Running Lights (DRL), and a pedestrian injury mitigation design in the front of the vehicle.

The 2014 Honda Civic Hybrid safety features include standard Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems. FCW is designed to detect a possible collision with another vehicle or object ahead and provides visible and audible alerts to the driver. LDW provides visible and audible alerts if the driver begins to drift out of a detected lane without using the turn signal. The 2014 Honda Civic Sedan and Coupe are expected to earn the top rating of GOOD in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) stringent small overlap front crash test, and receive a TOP SAFETY PICK rating from the IIHS. The 2014 Civic Sedan and Civic Hybrid received the top 5 Star Overall Vehicle Score in the NHTSA's New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), the Civic Coupe received a 4 Star rating.


Warranty
The 2014 Honda Civic is covered by a 3-year/36,000-mile new-car limited warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty and a 5-year/unlimited-mile corrosion limited warranty. Hybrid models have a 15-year/150,000-mile emissions warranty when the vehicle is registered and normally operated in California and certain states that have adopted California Zero-Emission Vehicle regulations. The IMA battery on the Civic Hybrid is covered by a 10-year/150,000-mile limited warranty. This warranty also applies to the SULEV 1.8L CVT equipped Civic models in states with a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program.

Awards
In addition to receiving numerous awards for the completely redesigned 2012 Honda Civic, the refreshed 2013 model was also awarded and recognized with accolades. It was named "Best Buy Compact Car" by Consumer Guide and "Top Family Car of 2013" by Edmunds.com and Parents Magazine. In addition, KBB awarded the Civic "Best Resale Value: Top 10" status and the Civic Si "Best Retail Value: Sporty Compact Car." Civic was also recognized with a "Polk Automotive Loyalty" award in the compact car segment, Edmunds.com named the Civic "Best Retained Value" and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy included the Civic Hybrid amongst the "Greenest Vehicles of 2013."
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Honda Motor Co. has a new and greatly improved 1-motor hybrid system for small cars. But engineers for the next Civic are leaning toward the more powerful and fuel-efficient 2-motor system that debuted in the mid-sized Accord Hybrid that went on sale last fall.

Honda has not said what kind of gasoline-electric drivetrain the next-generation Civic Hybrid, expected around 2016, will get. But Hiromitsu Ishibashi, chief engineer for the 1-motor system at Honda R&D Co., said engineers are considering the 2-motor layout.

Honda has doubts about how the 1-motor system's dual-clutch transmission will be accepted in America, Ishibashi said on the sidelines of Automotive World, an annual technical conference here. And the 2-motor system would deliver better fuel economy.

The newly developed 1-motor system, deployed in the Fit hatchback and the Fit-based Vezel subcompact crossover, pairs a 1.5-liter engine with an electric motor with a dual-clutch transmission.

Hybrid versions of both cars already are on sale in Japan, but there are no current plans to bring the gasoline-electric versions to the United States.

The 2-motor Accord Hybrid uses a continuously variable transmission.

'Customers don't care'

"U.S. customers don't care that much about which system [they get], as long as fuel economy and drivability are good," Ishibashi said. "Also, DCTs have not been that well received."

Honda's 2-motor system is capable of delivering better fuel economy than the 1-motor system because it allows for longer electric-only driving. The Accord Hybrid has a 50-mpg city rating, better than any other mid-sized sedan. The downside: added cost.

Ishibashi said engineers are still evaluating which system would work best in the Civic but added: "My personal guess is it could be 2 motors."

Honda said in November it will replace step-geared automatic transmissions with CVTs in all automatic Civics starting with this year's freshening of the nameplate.

The company has not officially said when a re-engineered hybrid will arrive. The current version uses Honda's Integrated Motor Assist system, a 1-motor technology often criticized for falling short in fuel economy and power. It achieves a combined city-highway 44 mpg rating.

Honda has been wrestling with what powertrain to use in the Civic Hybrid, partly to make it a tougher competitor of the Toyota Prius, which gets a combined city-highway 50 mpg rating.

Honda engineers have said in the past that 1 option might be 2 types of 2-motor systems: a more expensive 1 for the Accord and a lower-cost version for the Civic.

Gains

Even if Honda goes with a 1-motor system, it would still bring gains.

The new 1-motor system, dubbed Sport Hybrid Intelligent Dual-Clutch Drive, delivers across-the-board improvements over the outgoing system.

For the redesigned Fit Hybrid that debuted last year in Japan, Honda switched to a lithium ion battery, from a nickel-metal hydride one, boosting energy capacity 50%. Power output was more than doubled to 22 kilowatts, from 10. Engineers also made the battery 23% smaller and more than doubled the torque to 118 pounds-feet, from 58.

Honda also slashed the weight of the intelligent power unit, which includes the battery, inverter, DC/DC converter and battery control unit, by 40%.

The Fit Hybrid also gets a new Atkinson's cycle 1.5-liter engine.
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