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Overhaul for the New Hybrid-Only Honda Civic

The iconic Honda Civic has been treated to a major update - and it’s going hybrid-only as part of the Japanese firm’s global push towards electrified powertrains.

The Honda Civic is precisely 50 years old this year, with production having first begun way back in 1972.

And to mark the car’s half century, Honda has gone back to the drawing board to conjure up a brand new look and a revolutionary powertrain.

The take home points here are that the regular Civic is now hybrid only - there are no traditionally-fuelled engine options.

But the good news if you’re a dyed-in-the-wool petrolheads is that the Honda Civic Type R hot-hatch will be retained in the line-up, and that particular variant will keep its powerful 2.0 litre petrol mill.

So what’s new about the standard Civic, which competes in the market with the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Ioniq?

Well, the ‘e:HEV’ powertrain consists of a new 2.0-litre petrol engine married to a 72-cell lithium-ion battery and two compact electric motors.

They’ll combine to offer lease customers power of 184 PS and 315Nm of torque. And the Civic will also be able to switch seamlessly from EV, Hybrid and Engine drive with no input from the person sitting behind the wheel.

And because the e:HEV is a ‘full hybrid’, it is self-charging - drawing power from the combustion engine and from regenerative braking - which means you don’t ever need to plug it in.

Honda has also made efforts to make the new Civic perform better in the twisties, too. 

A spokesperson explains: 

“This refined powertrain is paired with strong, reassuring handling and straight-line stability; the cornerstones of the Civic model throughout its history. The 11th generation Civic features a 35mm longer wheelbase and wider rear track over its predecessor to help deliver improved straight-line and cornering performance, while new low friction ball joints and revised front damper enhance the dynamic feel.”

And then there’s the way the new Civic looks, which is a bit of a departure from the outgoing model.

The new Civic adopts what Honda calls a ‘fastback’ style. The bonnet line has been lowered by 25mm, there’s more glass to create a lighter interior and improve visibility, while the highest point of the roofline has been placed further forward than the previous Civic, with a gentle slope to the tailgate. Honda says these tweaks create a ‘sporty, ground-hugging stance’.

For the interior, the Civic gets a horizontal dash, honeycomb-pattern air vents and a 10.2-inch driver display panel.

The size of the central infotainment touchscreen has been increased to nine inches and has been moved upwards to minimise up-and-down eye movement.

Meanwhile range-topping ’Advance’ trim models also get an audio system with 12 premium BOSE speakers.

Because it’s a Honda, the new Civic gets driver assistance and safety systems galore. There’s a new 100-degree front wide-view camera with enhanced recognition technology, which means the Civic is better equipped to pick out pedestrians, road lines, boundaries and other vehicles, including motorcycles and cyclists.

There are also sonar sensors – four at the front and four at the rear - as well as an improved Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Keep Assist and i-ACC technology, Low Speed Braking Control, Blind Spot Information, Cross Traffic Monitor and Traffic Jam Assist.

The all-new Civic arrives in Europe from Autumn 2022. 

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Wednesday, 11/05/2022