|Honda to Unveil the New Civic Hybrid (to be made commercially available soon) at the 35th Tokyo Motor Show|
| Tokyo, October 18, 2001 --- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced that it will display the new Civic Hybrid (to be made commercially available soon) at the 35th Annual Tokyo Motor Show, opening October 26th at Makuhari Messe. The Civic Hybrid is equipped with the new Honda IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) System, which incorporates technical advances to further improve the efficiency of the IMA System, a unique hybrid system that significantly contributes to higher fuel efficiency.
The Civic Hybrid achieves outstanding fuel economy of 29.5km/l*1 --- the highest in the world for a 5-seater gasoline-powered production vehicle --- while providing a luxurious ride. It also employs the same sophisticated packaging technology as the Civic FERIO model on which it is based, making it a very practical and comfortable sedan.
Its state-of-the-art 1.3-liter i-DSI*2 engine incorporates lean-burn combustion technology, along with the VTEC Cylinder Cut-off System that adapts Honda's VTEC variable valve control technology to significantly increase the amount of electrical energy recovered during deceleration.
Other technological advances provide increases in both motor assist system performance and Power Control Unit (PCU) efficiency. Combined with the Honda Multimatic S continuously variable automatic transmission, this new system achieves a combination of excellent drivability and superb mileage. It also runs so cleanly that it is recognized by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport as an Ultra Low-Emissions Vehicle. Honda plans to release the new Civic Hybrid for sale in mid-December of this year.
New Civic Hybrid --- Main Features
New Honda IMA System
The new IMA System employs a gasoline engine as its main power source, assisted by an electric motor as the need arises. It offers improved efficiency over the previous IMA System on which its design is based. The Insight, which was equipped with the previous IMA system, boasted the highest fuel economy in the world for a production vehicle.
During acceleration and other times of heavy engine load, the motor assist system contributes considerable torque, resulting in both lower fuel consumption and powerful acceleration. At cruising speeds, when engine load is lower, the motor assist system shuts down. The newly developed 1.3-liter i-DSI lean-burn engine achieves the highest standard of fuel economy in the world.
During deceleration, the motor converts the dissipated energy into electricity (regenerative braking). The newly developed VTEC Cylinder Cut-off System reduces engine friction during deceleration --- formerly a problem with regenerative braking --- greatly improving the vehicle's electrical regenerative efficiency.
When stopping, at traffic lights for example, the engine shuts off automatically, then restarts immediately when the driver steps on the accelerator pedal. This automatic idle-stop system contributes to both greater fuel efficiency and lower emissions.
1.3-liter i-DSI Engine with VTEC Cylinder Cut-off System
The 1.3-liter i-DSI engine's configuration of two spark plugs per cylinder allows the fuel-air mixture to be made even leaner, for improved fuel economy.
The rocker arms that open and close the intake and exhaust valves are configured for dual operation in either valve-lift mode or idle mode. Normally, they are engaged via a synchronizing piston. During deceleration, the synchro piston is positioned inside the idle-mode rocker arm, disengaging the lift-mode rocker arm so that the valve remains at rest, effectively sealing off the cylinder. Three of the four cylinders can be shut down, achieving 50% lower engine friction during deceleration than the present IMA System.
Also featured are both a high-density, 900-cell three-stage catalytic converter and a lean burn-compatible absorption-type NOx catalytic converter. The result is a clean-burning engine that meets exhaust-gas emissions standards for ultra-low emissions vehicles set by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
New Motor Assist System
The motor assist system is composed of an ultra-thin DC brushless motor, a nickel metal hydride battery, and a Power Control Unit (PCU). The new system employs a higher-output motor, a more efficient battery, and a lighter, more compact PCU, resulting in greater packaging freedom.
Improvements to the internal magnetic coils of the ultra-thin DC brushless motor, which boasts the world's highest output density and practical efficiency, achieve 30% greater assisting and regenerative torque than the previous model --- without an increase in size. A sintering diffusion bonding process is used to firmly fuse different metals together, allowing the most appropriate materials to be used in construction of the rotor to meet the different demand criteria for its inner section, which transmits torque, and for its outer section, which is in contact with the magnetic coils. Strengthening the section that transmits the torque and increasing the magnetic-flux density results in higher torque output.
The inverter and the pre-driver have been combined, reducing the weight of the PCU by around 30%, and its volume by around 40%, in comparison to the present system.
The efficiency of the battery modules has been increased, resulting in reduced energy loss. The battery's storage box and peripheral equipment have been made more compact, for an approximate 30% reduction in volume.
The lighter, more compact, more efficient PCU and battery have been integrated into a single Intelligent Power Unit (IPU) that can be stored behind the rear seat of a passenger sedan.
Integrating the IPU allows the two cooling circuits previously used to be combined into one. Total volume of the PCU and battery has been reduced by around 50%.
Equipped with the new IMA System, the Civic Hybrid delivers a precise, stable driving feel at all speeds.
The Civic Hybrid was designed to achieve smart, aerodynamic styling. A feeling of solidity and power combines with the aerodynamic form for a leading-edge look.
Packaging / Interior Design
The lighter, more compact, more efficient PCU and battery have been combined into a single Intelligent Power Unit (IPU). The unit can be stored behind the rear seat, allowing Honda's Global Compact Platform to be employed, for a low, flat floor. The quality of the car's seat coverings and other interior appointments has been improved, and the meters combine digital and analog displays to impart an innovative, sporty feel. All integrate to create a comfortable interior ambience that speaks of quality and innovation.
In addition to the new Honda IMA System's outstanding fuel economy, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and other pollutants in the exhaust gas have been greatly reduced. In fact, the Civic Hybrid runs so clean that it is recognized by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport as an Ultra Low-Emissions Vehicle, with emissions of less than 25% * of those allowed under year 2000 emissions regulations.
Honda's original G-CON (G-force Control) technology is incorporated to create a new body with a crash safety design that is among the best in the world, withstanding a 55km/h full-frontal collision, a 64km/h front offset collision, 55km/h side collision, and a 50km/h rear collision.
To further improve safety in real-world collisions, Honda has implemented its own vehicle-to-vehicle collision-testing program with its own independently established standards*. This collision testing is much more demanding than conventional tests in which the car is crashed into a fixed barrier. The Civic Hybrid's safety design meets even our own stringent testing requirements.
The Global Compact Platform's versatile packaging allows high-voltage electronic equipment to be isolated in a single location, away from the passenger compartment. This, coupled with a warning system that detects electrical faults, ensures a high level of safety that guards against electrical shocks even in the event of a collision.
Main Specifications (Japanese model) for the New Civic Hybrid (model to be made commercially available)