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AutomobileSeptember 22, 2005
Honda Announces All-New Civic and Civic Hybrid Models for Japan

TOKYO, Japan, September 22, 2005 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced the release of the all-new Civic and Civic Hybrid for the Japanese market. A new generation of fine midsize sedans, the 1.8-liter Civic and Civic Hybrid with its new Honda Hybrid System take both spirited performance and fuel economy to new levels. The new models feature a bold one-motion form design, with a wide stance and extended wheelbase for a more expansive interior. The new Civic will debut on September 22, the Civic Hybrid on November 22, at Honda Primo dealers throughout Japan.

 


Civic 1.8GL
 

Civic Hybrid MX


This 8th-generation Civic features improvements in all measures of an automobile’s value, including driving performance, fuel economy, environmental friendliness, and packaging.  The latest Civic is designed to surround its occupants with sensuous quality and to provide a ride that everyone will enjoy and appreciate.

The new Civic features a newly developed 1.8l i-VTEC engine that combines off-the-line acceleration on par with a 2.0-liter engine with fuel economy equivalent to that of a 1.5-liter engine while cruising, for category-leading1 fuel economy of 17km/l2. The Civic Hybrid is equipped with the new 3-Stage i-VTEC + IMA Honda Hybrid System that delivers both spirited performance and an ultra-high fuel economy of 31km/l3. Both models achieve an outstanding combination of driving and environmental performance.

Exterior styling features a one-motion form with the windshield thrust boldly ahead to create a forward cabin with an advanced look. Inside, a 1,750mm4-wide body and 2,700mm- long wheelbase provide a spacious interior. The advanced multi-tiered dashboard display positions the speedometer, and other frequently checked displays on an upper tier near the driver’s line of sight for minimum eye movement while driving, while the tachometer, and other gauges are located on the lower tier. The interior space is designed to provide both driving pleasure and a relaxed, expansive feeling.

To reduce burden on the driver, the new Civic and Civic Hybrid are equipped with advanced safety technologies introduced for the first time in this category1, including IHCC (Intelligent Highway Cruise Control)5 with vehicle speed and distance control functions, and Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMS)5 with E-pretensioners5, which cautions the driver of the risk of a rear-end collision, and can activate the brakes to reduce vehicle speed to mitigate damage and injuries.

The popular Civic has won fans in over 160 countries around the world and achieved cumulative world production of 16 million units6 since it was first released in July 1972.

1 1.8-liter-category sedans
2 5AT vehicle in 10-15 mode (Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport test specification)
3 Civic Hybrid MXB in 10-15 mode (28.5km/l for MX)
4 Doors equipped with side-mirror turn signals (1,755mm on non-equipped vehicle)
5 Available as a factory option on the Civic 1.8G with 5-speed automatic transmission, the 1.8GL, and the 1.8S, as well as the Civic Hybrid MX
6 Honda calculations (16,280,000 vehicles produced as of the end of July 2005)


Key Features of the Civic and Civic Hybrid

< Power train >
Newly developed 1.8l i-VTEC engine (Civic)
 
The newly developed i-VTEC system further improves on Honda’s original VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) technology to allow the engine to retard intake valve closure timing under low engine-load driving conditions. Valve control is complemented by a DBW (Drive By Wire) system that provides optimum throttle valve control, significantly reducing pumping losses. This results in greater energy efficiency, for a major improvement in fuel economy while cruising. At the same time, improved intake efficiency and a higher compression ratio deliver an output of 103kW (140PS) and 174N•m (17.7kg•m) of torque, while comprehensive friction reduction measures and air-fuel ratio control result in fuel economy of 17.0km/l (5-speed automatic transmission in 10•15 mode). This exceeds Japanese fuel economy standards for 2010 by 5%7. The engine also achieves outstanding emissions performance, with emission levels 75% below 2005 Japanese government standards.

 
7 5-speed manual-transmission vehicle is recognized as meeting Japanese fuel economy standards for 2010.


Transmissions
 
To take full advantage of the engine’s performance characteristics, Honda has developed a new 5-speed automatic transmission8 that achieves both powerful acceleration and superior fuel economy. In addition to direct control via a linear solenoid and coordination of control functions with the DBW system, the use of both close and wide gear ratios delivers dynamic off-the-line performance and smooth, shock-free acceleration, combined with outstanding fuel economy during high-speed cruising. Three-shaft parallel construction, an ultra-thin torque converter, the use of a common driven gear for 4th and 5th gears, and other innovations help make the transmission significantly more compact than that of the previous Civic. Lock-up control is employed in every gear, while a low-friction clutch, reduced oil agitation resistance, and other high-efficiency innovations make a substantial contribution to fuel economy.
The 5-speed manual transmission9 provides reduced vertical and horizontal shift load for a more neutral feel, while delivering a smooth, snag-free shift transition that reduces resistance as the shift lever passes the center mid-shift point to slip effortlessly into gear, for a light, exhilarating touch.

 
8 Available on all Civic types.
9 Available on Civic 1.8G type


New Honda Hybrid System with 3-Stage i-VTEC + IMA(Civic Hybrid)
 
Honda’s independently developed hybrid system, which combines an engine as the primary drive force with electric motor assist to achieve outstanding fuel economy and clean emissions, has evolved significantly. The New Honda Hybrid System features a 3-stage i-VTEC engine that regulates the valves to provide three stages of valve timing (low-rpm, high-rpm, and cylinder idle mode) in accordance with driving conditions, combines with a significantly improved IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) system, to deliver 20% higher output10 along with 5% better fuel economy10 when driven in 10-15 mode. The system provides low-speed torque, on par with a 1.8-liter gasoline engine, while achieving ultra-high fuel economy of 31.0km/l, surpassing Japanese government fuel economy standards for 2010 by 5%. The system also achieves outstanding emissions performance, with emission levels 75% below 2005 Japanese government standards.
A newly developed dynamic regenerative braking system regulates brake assist volume during braking based on the amount of brake regeneration. Whereas a regular brake booster is powered by engine vacuum, this system employs a hydraulic brake booster that utilizes hydraulic pressure stored in the motor to boost braking capacity. This ensures stable braking assist even during Idle Stop, cylinder idle, and at other times when the vehicle is powered by the motor alone, while also allowing total control over the degree of hydraulic braking.

 
10 Compared to the previous Civic Hybrid


Honda Multimatic S (Civic Hybrid)
 
The Honda Multimatic S continuously variable transmission delivers smooth, shock-free driving and contributes to improved fuel economy by effectively maintaining the engine in its optimum fuel-efficiency range. Transmission efficiency has been maximized and a wide ratio employed for the high-speed gears, to contribute up to 3.5% increased efficiency during cruising while also delivering more powerful driving performance. At the same time, clutch capacity has been increased to respond to the power unit’s high torque output. All of these improvements have been made while maintaining the same compact design as the previous Civic Hybrid. Finely tuned gearing control responds to driving conditions for a smooth, natural feel.

< Exterior Design >
 
The exterior employs a forward-cabin, one-motion form design, with the front window thrust boldly ahead, emphasizing the extension of the front fenders and rear deck with the cabin more compact lengthwise. The result is a form rich in three-dimensional contours that emphasizes the independence of the cabin while at the same time imparting a sensation of dynamic solidity.
From the front view, sharply designed, innovatively shaped headlights slant boldly up to either side of the horizontal floating center grill. Elegantly flush surfaces emphasize the unity of the front mask, which gently blends into the hood and up to the expansive surface of the front windshield to impart a feel of aerodynamic, high performance quality.
From the side view, the body gives a strong feeling of width, while the character line has a triangular cross-section extending rearward from the front to the rear bumper to express a feeling of speed and power.
The sporty rear view features a cut-off tail that creates a refreshing image, with oval, dual exhaust pipes and rear combination lights arranged in a pattern of four circular lights with ring-shaped illumination.
The Civic Hybrid features highly aerodynamic, custom-designed, lightweight aluminum wheels, front air spoiler, and trunk spoiler11 to emphasize its aerodynamic qualities.
A new color, Super Platinum Metallic12, employs newly developed Super Platinum metallic paint technology to bring out the shadows when light hits the body’s surface, accentuating its rich surface composition. Whereas with ordinary metallic paint two coats of aluminum pigmented color base are applied the same way one on top of the other, the Super Platinum paint process employs two color bases with different characteristics. The effect of these two separate layers is to line up the aluminum pigments in a fixed direction, suppressing the diffusion of reflected light to create the luster of a pure, fine-grained metal.
Opposing flat wipers provide the wiping performance needed to keep the large front windshield clear. Wiper blade height has been reduced by 10mm compared to the previous model and the storage position lowered, making the wipers less noticeable and reducing wind noise.

 
11 Standard on the Civic Hybrid MX
12 Available on the Civic 1.8G, 1.8GL, 1.8S, and Civic Hybrid MX


< Packaging and Interior >
 
The wide body and long wheelbase create a relaxing, spacious cabin interior, while the large front windshield thrusts forward at an accentuated angle, combining with the positioning and angling of the glass area to create a spacious visual feel.
The cockpit is designed as an advanced technology space in which the driver experiences a new enhanced level of security, for increased driving ease and pleasure. To improve both visibility and operability, the driver interface has been completely redesigned, with first priority given to the positioning of the displays and controls. The multi-tier meter design groups the most important components in easy-to-see, easy-to-reach locations.
The speedometer and other instruments that the driver frequently refers to have been carefully located in a newly designed multifunctional display positioned directly in front of the driver, high up and at some distance on the instrument panel. This reduces the angle that the driver must deflect his or her gaze downward while driving, minimizing eye movement, while at the same time making the display closer to the driver’s field of vision, reducing the need to refocus. In addition to the speedometer, the upper tier includes the fuel gauge, coolant temperature gauge13, and turn signal indicators. Limiting the number of gauges permits the use of a large, digital display for the speedometer for improved readability in a compact size that does not impinge upon the driver’s field of vision. The lower tier houses a self-illuminating14 tachometer, odometer, and trip meter, with the Civic Hybrid also featuring an IMA assist/charge display.
The 3-spoke, small-diameter steering wheel is oval-shaped with a horizontal diameter of 360mm and a vertical diameter of 350mm, for a sportier image and improved instrument panel visibility. The shift lever also employs a sporty, compact design. Located right beside it within easy reach is the emergency brake lever, which adopts a Z-shaped configuration for a major reduction in overall length. The organ-type accelerator pedal ensures a linear pedal feel.
The newly developed front seats combine a wrap-around fit with stylish design. The seat cushions feature low-resistance urethane cushions and expanded spring pitch front and rear contribute significantly to vibration absorption. The springs have also been set lower in the rear to naturally draw the occupant snugly into the seat. Furthermore, the urethane backing on the seat covering has been made thicker for improved comfort and a firmer hold.
The range of the seat height adjuster on the driver’s seat has been increased to 50mm15. The ratchet-style adjuster allows the driver to easily adjust the seat to the optimum height simply by moving the seat-side lever up and down. The steering wheel is equipped with a tilt mechanism, along with a telescopic device to allow the driver to slide it forward or back. Both devices provide an adjustment range of 40mm15, which, in combination with the seat positioning, enable the driver to easily find the optimum driving position.
Increased overall body width results in a wider interior, while modifications to the shape of the front seatback and a floor with minimized central tunnel height ensures a more spacious rear seat area.
The trunk is a spacious 438 liters16, with minimal intrusion of the wheel housings. The Civic is also equipped with 6:4-split rear seats, which fold down easily with the pull of a lever located inside the trunk.
In the Civic Hybrid, the IPU (Intelligent Power Unit), which is located in the rear of the vehicle, has been made 13% more compact than the previous Civic Hybrid for minimum reduction of trunk volume. This ensures ample trunk space of 350 liters16.

 
13 Civic Hybrid display alternates between coolant temperature gauge and current fuel consumption gauge
14 Civic 1.8B uses transparent tachometer display.
15 Honda calculations
16 Honda calculations according to VDA formula


< Chassis and Body >
 
The wide stance contributes to improved drivability and a smoother ride. To help provide more direct, linear handling feel, the positioning of the steering gearbox, the structure of the body and sub-frame, and the symmetry of the suspension have been comprehensively redesigned.
The strut front suspension provides outstanding space efficiency. A side-force canceling spring reduces shock absorber friction for improved ride comfort, while making for a more compact suspension. The rear suspension employs a compact, reactive-link, double-wishbone design. The shock absorber and spring, formerly a single unit, have been separated and positioned slightly behind the wheel center for improved tire contact and a more comfortable ride, while at the same time contributing to reduced road noise.
The body achieves an extremely high level of rigidity, with 35% greater torsional rigidity than the previous model. Dynamic rigidity has also been improved by achieving the correct balance of rigidity front and rear, and by strengthening seams throughout the vehicle. This achieves a high degree of handling stability, while also improving ride comfort. Other innovations include the use of light, strong, high-tensile steel in approximately 50% of the body’s major frame components, the use of tailored blank welds in key areas, and combining steel plates of varying thicknesses and materials for efficient strengthening.
Reduction of crankshaft knocking and high-precision control of ignition timing to limit high-frequency ignition noise during combustion are just two of the measures employed to reduce engine noise at its source The engine mounts are supplemented by torque rods to absorb longitudinal engine vibration. This considerably reduces the transmission of engine vibration and contributes to more linear handling.
The cabin area employs flat joints between the plates for the center pillars, rear wheel housings, and trunk area to reduce the number of holes and gaps, while the bottom portion of each pillar is insulated with urethane foam to reduce noise in the cabin interior. Light, high-performance sound insulation materials are also optimally positioned in the floor and central roof area to achieve high levels of noise reduction and weight reduction.


< Advanced Features >
 
The IHCC (Intelligent Highway Cruise Control)17 vehicle speed and distance control system helps reduce the burden on the driver during freeway driving. It assesses driving conditions using data from a millimeter-wave radar unit built into the front grille of the vehicle that measures the distance to the vehicle ahead, along with data from vehicle speed and yaw rate sensors. In addition to maintaining the vehicle at a set speed, this cruise control system automatically regulates vehicle speed and distance depending on whether or not there is a vehicle in the same lane ahead.
The Honda HDD InterNavi System18 with rear camera utilizes the enormous information storage of a high-capacity hard drive to deliver a wide range of information. The 7-inch touch-panel display provides an easy-to-see, easy-to-operate interface, while Bluetooth19 compatibility enables wireless connection with cellular phones for even more powerful communications capabilities.

 
17 Factory option on the Civic 1.8G with 5-speed automatic transmission, 1.8GL, 1.8S, and the Civic Hybrid MX
18 Factory option on the Civic 1.8G, 1.8GL, 1.8S, and the Civic Hybrid
19 Bluetooth is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc. of the US.


< Safety Performance >
 
The Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system—which includes the Antilock Brake System (ABS), Traction Control System (TCS), and sideslip control20—works in combination with the DBW electronic throttle control that optimizes engine torque to achieve precision handling.
The Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMS) 21 uses millimeter-wave radar, assessing collision risk based on inter-vehicle distance and relative vehicle speeds. As assessed collision risk increases, the system uses audio and tactile warnings and light braking to alert the driver and prompt preventative action, activating the brakes more firmly to reduce vehicle speed and mitigate damage and injuries in the event of a collision.
E-pretensioners (driver and passenger seats) 21 work in concert with the CMS, pulling gently on the seat belts when the risk of a collision is detected, and more forcefully when assessed risk is increased, providing increased restraining effect.
The vehicle’s crash compatibility body provides a high level of self-protection and also improves compatibility toward other vehicle. In a full-frontal collision, the upper frame and lower members distribute and absorb the energy of impact, diffusing it into the front pillar and floor. At the time of impact, the lower members prevent misalignment with the crash-absorbing members of the other vehicle, and together with the upper frame create a broadened surface with which to absorb the impact, significantly reducing cabin intrusion.
The vehicle is also designed to mitigate pedestrian injury in the event of a collision, particularly to the head and legs, thanks to the use of impact-absorbing structures.
In addition to the front-seat i-side air bags22, a side curtain airbag system22 also protects front-seat occupants.
The vehicle is also equipped with active headrests, which utilize link mechanisms located in the seat backs to move the headrests forward and support occupants’ heads when the occupants are forced backward into their seats in the event of a rear-end collision. In addition to the link mechanism, which moves the headrest upward and tilts it forward into the appropriate position, an inertial stopper holds the headrest in position even after pressure on the seatback is reduced, significantly reducing load on the neck area.

 
20 Standard equipment on the 1.8S; factory option on the Civic 1.8G with 5-speed automatic transmission, 1.8GL, and the Civic Hybrid MX
21 Factory option on the Civic 1.8G with 5-speed automatic transmission, 1.8GL, 1.8S, and the Civic Hybrid MX
22 Factory option on all Types


< Environmental Performance >
 
The use of a precision air-fuel ratio control system and high-density catalytic converter has achieved major reductions in emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), and other harmful substances. All types have been certified by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport as having achieved a 75% reduction with respect to emissions regulations for 2005.
i-VTEC valve control and other high-efficiency combustion technologies, precise coordination between engine and transmission, and lightweight engine construction contribute to superior fuel economy: the Civic 1.8B, 1.8G with 5-speed automatic transmission, 1.8GL and the 1.8S all achieve excellent fuel economy of 17.0km/l23, exceeding Japanese government fuel economy standards for 2010 by 5%. The Civic Hybrid utilizes motor assist to significantly reduce the load on the engine, achieving ultra-high fuel economy of 28.5km/l for the MX and 31.0km/l for the MXB, which also exceeds Japanese fuel economy standards for 2010 by 5%. The engine also achieves outstanding emissions performance and is recognized by the Japanese government as attaining emission levels 75% below 2005 standards, earning it preferred status under Green Tax program in Japan.
PVC use has been eliminated from interior and exterior components wherever possible to achieve over 90% recyclability25.
Surface materials in the instrument panel, door linings, and other areas, as well as adhesives used in the glass and door seals, have been reevaluated to reduce the use of formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, toluene, and other VOCs25 , thought to be a contributing factor in sick house syndrome. VOC levels have been reduced to within the indoor density guidelines set out by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare to improve air quality inside the vehicle.

 
23 1.8G equipped with manual transmission meets the Japanese government fuel economy standards for 2010 at 16.2km/l
24 According to Honda calculations
25 Volatile Organic Compounds


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