Honda has taken the covers off the Civic e:HEV, the hybrid version of its compact family model.
NEW DESIGN APPROACH
Honda says the Civic e:HEV has an “exhilarating” approach to its design. This is coupled with the brand’s “Man-Maximum, Machine-Minimum” development philosophy.
The car’s bonnet line is 25mm lower than the previous Civic’s, while the glass area is increased to brighten the interior. The belt and feature lines are more defined, too.
The lower feature line enhances the assured stature of the vehicle, as well as giving improved visibility from the rear seats. The A-pillars are placed further back, while the highest point of the roofline is now further forward in order to give the car a more assured stance.
More passenger space is available thanks to the car’s 35mm longer wheelbase. In a first, the Civic e:HEV hatchback’s tailgate is made from resin, making it 20 percent lighter than before. This also makes it easier to open and close.
Interior-wise, the Advance specification provides a 10.2-inch HD colour LCD panel for the instrument cluster. The infotainment display’s touchscreen has been moved upwards and made larger for enhanced visibility and usability.
The Elegance and Sport trim levels come with eight speakers, while the Advance trim comes with a 12-speaker Bose system.
CIVIC e:HEV POWERTRAIN
The e:HEV in the Civic is equipped with a new 72-cell lithium-ion battery and two compact electric motors, which are paired with a newly developed 2-litre Atkinson-cycle engine.
It has a combined output of 181hp (135kW) and 315Nm.
The two electric motors provide the primary drive force for the Civic e:HEV. The engine is controlled by a new, compact Power Control unit which now sits under the bonnet with the rest of the powertrain.
Beneath the rear seats is Honda’s latest Intelligent Power Unit, which is smaller, lighter, and has an increased energy density. It helps deliver a feeling of instant torque whilst still offering efficiency.
Depending on the conditions, the powertrain will shift between EV (full electric), Hybrid and Engine drive.
Four drive modes are offered in the Civic e:HEV – Eco, Normal, Sport and Individual. The latter enables separate control of the engine, transmission and instrument panel. The driver can tailor the vehicle’s response to his preferences.
The e:HEV system has a fixed-gear transmission that is designed to minimise mechanical friction. Fuel economy figures are not available yet, but Honda is targeting CO2 emissions below 110g/km, which is less than 5L/100km in WLTP testing.