Archives – November 16, 2011

Taking A Peek At The Honda Civic Hybrid And A Plugin Hybrid Concept

2012 Honda Civic

In mid-2011 Honda CEO Takanobu Ito hinted that an all new Honda Civic hybrid and a plug-in hybrid concept would hopefully make it into production for the 2012 model year. Here is a quick glance at the most recent information about both.

The 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid offers a 1.5L four cylinder hybrid engine that delivers 44 mpg in the city or on the highway thanks to the continuously variable transmission. It also features standard stability control, traction control, and side/curtain airbags. The base model has a decent amount of options. The base trim features 15-inch alloy wheels sitting on low rolling-resistance tires, outside mirrors with built-in turn signals, LED taillights, a rear spoiler and a 160-watt, six-speaker stereo. If you move up to the ”Leather” trim level, you get heated mirrors, leather upholstery, and heated front seats.

The plug-in hybrid concept is still a work in progress. Honda’s official site for the vehicle lists several aspects of the vehicle, but not an official announcement of whether it will be a CR-Z or Civic platform based vehicle. Whatever platform is chosen, the plug-in hybrid will allow for short, frequent trips in all-electric mode. Long distance trips will be powered by Honda’s 2.0-liter, i-VTEC inline 4 cylinder powerplant. The vehicle will continuously move through three modes for maximum driving efficiency: all-electric, gasoline-electric and an engine direct-drive mode. When in direct-drive, the engine will power the front wheels directly for better fuel efficiency at cruising speeds in excess of 62 mph. The effective all electric range will be 15 miles at 62 mph or less. Recharge time is going to be in the 2 hour neighborhood with a household 120V outlet or 1 hour with a a 240V plug. Commercial recharging stations can cut that time down to 15 minutes.

The Honda Civic hybrid offers a great fuel efficient alternative to the Toyota Prius and is a little more roomy. Hopefully, Honda will introduce its plug-in hybrid soon.

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