In Europe, Honda has unveiled the all-new Civic e:HEV, the 11th generation of its iconic global compact car. The all-new hybrid Civic features Honda’s e:HEV powertrain technology as standard, and completes the brand’s mission to electrify all its mainstream European models by the end of 2022.
Honda’s e:HEV (hybrid electric vehicle) powertrain technology is offered as standard and its application in the Civic, and sees the deployment of a new 72-cell lithium-ion battery and two compact electric motors paired with a newly developed 2.0-liter direct-injection, Atkinson-cycle engine. Combined, the powertrain delivers a maximum motor output of 135 kW and 315 N·m of torque. The latest iteration of the internal combustion engine has several new elements within its architecture to help achieve a thermal efficiency of 41%, one of the highest figures within the automotive industry for a production road car.
The two motors work together to provide the primary drive force for the all-new Civic. The engine is controlled by a new, compact Power Control unit which now sits under the hood with the rest of the powertrain. Sitting under the rear seats is the latest version of the Intelligent Power Unit, Although smaller and lighter, it benefits from an increased energy density.
This advanced powertrain is capable of shifting seamlessly between EV, Hybrid and Engine drive with no input from the driver. Four drive modes—Eco, Normal, Sport and a new Individual mode, which allows separate control of the engine, transmission and cluster gauge display—can be selected by the driver to tailor the vehicle response as required.
Central to the e:HEV system is the fixed gear transmission, which has been designed to minimize mechanical friction and is controlled by an intelligent power control unit, which optimizes the vehicle to each driving situation. The all-new Civic is targeted to achieve CO2 emissions of less than 110 grams per km which is less than 5 l/100km (47 mpg US) in WLTP testing.
This powertrain is paired with strong, reassuring handling and straight-line stability. The 11th generation Civic features a 35mm longer wheelbase and wider rear track over its predecessor to help deliver improved straight-line and cornering performance, while new low friction ball joints and revised front damper enhance the dynamic feel. The new model will also be the first Civic to adopt a newly designed structure for the body stabilizing front seats, providing greater stabilization and comfort for occupants.
The all-new Civic features a sleek and sporty silhouette, which has been achieved through lowering the hood line 25mm over the previous generation, while the glass area has been increased to create a light and airy interior. The lower feature line enhances the assured stature of the vehicle, as well as giving improved visibility from the rear seats.
In comparison to the previous generation Civic, the base of the A-pillar has been positioned further back to align with the center of the front wheels, giving the car a more balanced proportion in profile as well as a wider, more assured stance from all angles. The highest point of the roofline has been placed further forward than the previous Civic, with a gentle slope to the tailgate creating a sleek, fast-back style look.
The 35mm longer wheelbase has allowed designers to create a more expansive and comfortable cabin space as well as improving dynamic performance and straight-line stability. The construction of the tailgate is now resin, a first for Civic. Developed using new manufacturing technology, the weight has been reduced by 20% compared with the previous Civic, making it easier to open and close. Additionally, the supporting hinges have been moved outwards, achieving a cleaner roofline and further contributing to the new sleeker rear design.
The all-new Civic also features Honda’s expanded SENSING suite of advanced safety features and driver aids. A new 100-degree front wide-view camera and enhanced recognition technology improve the Civic’s capacity to identify pedestrians, road lines, boundaries, other vehicles including motorcycles and cyclists. For the first time, the all-new Civic is equipped with sonar sensors—four at the front and four at the rear. In addition to improved Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Keep Assist and i-ACC technology, Low Speed Braking Control, Blind Spot Information, Cross Traffic Monitor and Traffic Jam Assist are all new additions to the Civic’s comprehensive active safety offering.
In addition to the new active safety technology, new structural components have also been incorporated to meet Euro NCAP’s stringent safety standards. These include additional door beams that improve side collision performance; front bumper beam safety plates that absorb impact energy to reduce leg and knee damage; a total of 11 airbags including side airbags for the rear seats; knee airbags for the front seats to reduce occupant injury during front impact; and a front center airbag for the driver seat to prevent a collision between the driver and front passenger during side impact.
Since its launch in 1972, the Civic has sold more than 27.5 million units across 170 countries. The all-new Civic will arrive in Europe from Autumn 2022.