The all-new Honda Civic has been engineered to ensure that its e:HEV (hybrid electric vehicle) powertrain, steering and suspension deliver the engaging levels of performance, dynamic response and feedback that have always been central to the Civic’s appeal. The result is a car that blends a rewarding driving experience with highly competitive efficiency and emissions.
Available later in 2022, the 11th-generation Civic is the final mainstream Honda model to be electrified, following the CR-V, Honda e, Jazz, Jazz Crosstar, and HR-V. The car will feature the most advanced iteration of the brand’s award-winning e:HEV full-hybrid powertrain. This combines a power-dense lithium-ion battery and two compact, powerful electric motors with a newly-developed 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle petrol engine, which achieves industry-best equalling 41% thermal efficiency and features a direct injection system optimised for faster and more efficient combustion and greater torque output. In addition to direct injection system, a number of technologies such as low temperature active catalyst, and a modified design on intake port help contribute to improved fuel economy whilst achieving specific output.
The result of these technological advancements is a WLTP ‘Combined’ CO2 emission figure of just 108g/km (WLTP), with fuel economy an equally impressive 4.7l/100km. This exceptional efficiency is combined with a maximum power output of 135kW and 315Nm maximum torque, ensuring the all new Civic is a compelling driver’s car within the C-segment.
This superior efficiency and energy management has been achieved through the application of innovative new technologies. For example, the latest version of Honda’s Intelligent Power Unit (IPU) is 23mm flatter and 1kg lighter than previous iterations, but with a higher cell count of 72 – the largest fitted to any of the current Honda e:HEV range. The slimline IPU sits under the rear seats, maximising interior space and usability.
A new Power Control Unit (PCU), located under the bonnet, enables the faster charge and discharge of electricity, contributing a further 12% increase in power output over previous e:HEV applications. The increase in power density and output of the PCU increases electrical output, allowing EV drive to take more of the load, and is handled by new aluminium-core high-voltage wiring. Aluminium wiring will contribute to 40% of weight reduction compared to conventional copper wiring.
The advanced powertrain shifts seamlessly between EV, hybrid and engine drive with no input from the driver. Four drive modes – Eco, Normal, Sport and a new Individual mode – can be selected by the driver to tailor the vehicle’s response in the area of powertrain, steering and display.
This engaging flexibility is underpinned with exceptional levels of refinement, with close attention paid to eliminating unwanted noise and vibration. A secondary balancer shaft, and high rigidity crankshaft within the internal combustion engine ensure smooth running, whilst unwanted engine noise has been countered through the increased application of insulation on the intake manifold and engine cover. In addition to these steps, clever application of Active Noise Control (ANC) further limits any noises that could resonate into the cabin, whilst Active Sound Control (ASC) heightens the sporty tones of the internal combustion unit.
Complimenting the exceptional power output is the chassis’ design. The Civic e:HEV has been developed with particular focus on steering response and feedback, heightening the driver’s sense of connection with the car. Improved stability in a straight line and over uneven road surfaces has been achieved thanks to a 35mm longer wheelbase and an 18mm wider rear track compared to the car’s predecessor. Cornering stability and overall input response has been further improved with increased body rigidity and the application of low friction ball joints and revised front dampers; combining to enhance the dynamic feel.
To enhance driving pleasure and response a new control logic, ‘winding control’, ensures that the internal combustion engine’s operation is maintained during cornering on twisting roads. This enables the car to deliver instant acceleration, providing a truly dynamic sensation when accelerating. On the highway, the additional torque and electric drive provides powerful overtaking acceleration when at high speed but with reduced engine revving noise, for relaxed long-distance travel.
“This is the latest generation of our industry-leading e:HEV technology, which itself is the culmination of over 20 years experience of designing, building and refining hybrid drive systems,” said Tomoyuki Yamagami, Large Project Leader for the all-new Civic e:HEV. “By carefully assessing the broad range of use-cases and operational environments, we have been able to take a ‘whole vehicle’ approach, making it a fun, highly compelling and engaging driver’s hybrid.”