The 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid
series of cars rolled out in November 2005. The Honda
Civic Hybrid cars include a four-door sedan, a two-door
coupe, an Si coupe, a more efficient Civic Hybrid, and
a natural gas-powered Civic GX.
The most exciting of the
Honda Civic Hybrid offerings is the Civic Si coupe, which
is being touted as the fasted and most powerful Civic
offered in its 20-year history.
The 2006 Civic Si boasts a 200-horsepower, 16-valve, and DOHC
i-VTEC engine with an 8,000-rpm maximum red line. This new engine
will offer significant gains in both power and fuel economy.
Designed as an "Advanced Personal Compact," vehicle,
the Civic Si Hybrid incorporates flowing lines, high trunk deck
and steeply angled windshield. The Civic Si also sports 18-inch
cast aluminum wheels with 225/40R high performance tires, and
4-wheel disc brakes with large cross-drilled brake rotors and
The Honda Civic Si Hybrid will be offering a six-speed transmission
and a helical-type limited-slip differential will enhance launch
traction and cornering ability. The new Honda Civic Hybrids
are supposed to be enhanced with more powerful batteries, an
upgrade to its regenerative braking system and transition to
a a full-hybrid system that can run part of the time strictly
on electricity. This electric-only mode will be used for low-speed
cruising. The air conditioning system will also run off of electricity,
alleviating the need to pull energy from the gasoline engine.
The new line of Civic hybrids is also expected to carry a new
electric motor with high-density windings and high-performance
magnets to garner one-and-a-half times the output while maintaining
the same size.
One reason that Honda has decided to make this bold move
is because the 2003 - 2005 Civic Hybrid line-up looked just
like the Civics with conventional gasoline engines. This
gamble did not pay off for Honda as they were booking on
consumers liking the traditional Civic style with the added
benefit of owning a green machine. Toyota took a different
approach with the Prius and far outsold Honda with a fresh
design and better marketing plan.
According to John Mendel, senior vice president of American
Honda, "The 2006 Civic Si Coupe will be the most powerful,
fastest and fun-to-drive Si we've ever put on the street,
and the Civic Si Concept sets the direction in terms of
its styling, package and performance." The Honda Civic
Si Hybrid coupe as unveiled as a concept car in February
2005 at the 2005 Chicago Auto Show. The production version
is expected to makes it debut at the 2005 Specialty Equipment
Market Association (SEMA) show in November 2005.
The 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid shows a few minor improvements
over the 2006 model year. The Integrated Motor Assist has been
improved to operate on electrical alone for a period of time
when conditions are optimal. The 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid is
powered by a SOHC 110-hp, i-VTEC® 8-valve 4-cylinder engine,
high-torque electric motor and CVT transmission. Honda decided
that they had a good thing going and decided not to make too
many changes for this model year.