Hybrid power for 2006 Civic

18 July 2005

Honda has confirmed that UK versions of the upcoming new Civic hatchback will be offered with an updated IMA hybrid powerplant. Unlike the current dowdy Civic IMA, next year’s British-built Civic hybrid will have the looks to match its state of the art underpinnings. In action, the new Honda will also work a little more like Toyota’s hybrids - allowing the VTEC engine to switch off entirely during low-speed, stop-start motoring, or during braking. The compressor for the air conditioning system can also run off either the engine or the electric motor.
While Toyota’s Prius has been a runaway success in the US, it’s still a rarity on UK roads. Its size - and contentious styling - count against it. Hybrids offer the biggest savings when stuck in congested city traffic, but most cars bought by Londoners, for example, are a lot smaller than the Prius. The Civic could be the car to break through the popularity barrier in the UK, bringing hybrids into the mainstream.

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