Honda Civic Si Concept coupe and Civic Concept sedan debut at NAIAS; hybrid and natural gas variants
|Honda Civic Concept. Click to enlarge.|
The Honda Civic Si Concept coupe and Civic Concept sedan made their world debuts at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, providing the first official glimpse at the styling direction of the 9th-generation 2012 model set to go on sale this spring.
The next-generation Civic will offer three different powertrains, said John Mendel, Executive Vice President, American Honda Motor Co.: gasoline, hybrid and natural gas. The new Civic Hybrid will feature the first application of a lithium-ion battery technology in a Honda hybrid. The gasoline-engined lineup includes a sedan, coupe and two Si performance versions.
The Civic’s family of engines with intelligent Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC) technology becomes more fuel efficient for 2012. The upcoming Civic Hybrid offers the latest generation of the compact and lightweight Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) gasoline-electric hybrid system and features the first application of a lithium-ion battery in a Honda hybrid.
Building on Honda’s emphasis on fuel-economy, most upcoming Civic models receive Honda Eco Assist (Ecological Drive Assist System) technology (earlier post), already available in the CR-Z and Insight hybrids. The 2012 Civic is the first US Honda model to employ Eco Assist technology in a gasoline-only powered vehicle.
Eco Assist is a driver-selected fuel economy information system designed to help the driver develop and maintain a fuel-efficient driving style. Eco Assist comprises two basic functions:
- A feedback system; and
- A driver-selected ECON button that automatically helps increase the vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
Additionally, Honda is expanding retail sales of the natural gas-powered Civic GX model, which is the only OEM-built, dedicated CNG passenger car assembled in America.
All 2012 Civics are equipped with Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) as standard equipment. Additionally, the ninth-generation Civic continues to provide Honda’ Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure for frontal collision energy management.
As a top-selling model for Honda, the current, eighth-generation Civic has sold more than 1.5 million units since the 2006 model went on sale in late 2005. In 2010, Honda sold 260,218 units in the US, up marginally from the 259,722 units in 2009. The 2006 Civic earned both the Motor Trend Car of the Year and the North American Car of the Year awards.