Honda Civic EU Version
The designers of the new Civic wanted to keep the sporty and futuristic aspects of the car’s character but tailor them to express the new model’s even more elegant yet futuristic feel.
To embody this concept, the new car is 20mm lower and 10mm wider than the current model, with a styling that further highlights the sporty and futuristic elegance and an overall design full of practicality.
Research led the designers to consider how the new Civic 5 door design could have a sporty look that could resemble the sporty characteristics often found in 3 door cars. The new Civic’s cab forward design is highlighted by a reduced amount of side glass relative to the surface of the side body in particular reducing the rear window glass area. This creates the look of having a small sleek cabin compared to more traditional looking cabins found on 5 door cars in the European C segment.
Contributing to the low and planted look is the way in which the body lines have been designed for the new Civic. Typically the peak point of the side body lines run in parallel with the door handle however the new Civic’s point is lower coming just about the middle height of the door panel. The result is a low, uninterrupted line running from the front bumper, extending over the entire flank before reaching the rear bumper giving a low centre of gravity look. At the same time the upper part of the body side adopts a relatively plain design that is made to contrast with the sturdy looks of the lower part body side which, together with the side sills, serves to catch the light, emphasizing the solidly planted look.
The wheel arches have been designed to flow out more fluidly from the body surface to give the new Civic its distinctively clean and elegant look. In many designs, the wheel arch is made to bulge out from the body by about the same amount over its perimeter. In contrast, the borderline separating the body from the wheel arch in the new Civic is so smooth that it is quite difficult to say where one starts and the other one ends.
The aim was to provide customers with a stable feel during high speed driving, including managing the flow of air under the vehicle by using a full-length bumper-to-bumper undertray, with flared leading edges. Together with larger covers on the rear suspension, this undertray adds to stability, particularly when overtaking long vehicles on the highway in windy conditions.
Aerodynamic efficiency is also improved by the introduction of a shutter grille for the diesel model. This results in both cooling performance and low-drag aerodynamics in all instances. The new diesel Civic reads water temperature, speed and outside air temperature, and opening and shutting the shutter accordingly. At low speeds, when aerodynamics are less critical, the shutter is open. It is also open at high speeds, contributing to secure steering stability by reducing front-end lift. At medium speeds the shutter is generally closed but opens where necessary to enhance cooling and reduce air resistance, thus promoting fuel efficiency.
The new Civic features a redesigned outer door handle which is comfortable and a glass roof has also giving a greater sense of space in the cabin.
The current Civic is known for its unique futuristic interior design and sporty exterior styling yet also with spacious and versatile interior. These core design characteristics were to be maintained in the development of the new Civic but with a focus to refine the feel for the inside of the car. Sources of inspiration came from the control panel layout from a jet fighter plane cockpit and a race car cockpit that enables natural and intuitive operation of all controls. The feeling of sitting in the driver’s seat reflects a driver focused space with a comfortable feeling of relaxation and control. The feeling is of a car designed around the driver – the ultimate expression of Honda’s ‘man maximum, machine minimum’ principle.
This new functional cockpit has two control zones which separate the control areas known as the Information Interface zone and the Driver Interface zone.
The Driving Interface zone gathers essential information at the natural point of focus; and an Information Interface zone positioned closer to the centre of the dash. The area directly in front of the driver’s eyes is deep and spacious, mirroring the sleek exterior design, while the Information Interface zone offers the easiness of operation by placing information devices such as audio and navigation system, heater and A/C controls within the reach of both the driver and the passenger.
These areas are clearly defined by a low and smooth upper visor and a sweeping side visor that together define the driver’s space, giving something of the focused feel of a jet fighter cockpit or a single-seat racing car.
Noise reduction was carried throughout the chassis and powertrain components. For example, large noise-absorbing panels were added to the rear wheel arches, the roof was specially engineered to eliminate vibration and sound-deadening glass wool was used in the engine bay. Inside the cabin, a new sound-insulating material was interlayed in the windscreen, thicker window glass in the front doors and new seals were introduced throughout. As a result the driver and passengers can have an even quieter travel experience within the cabin.
In addition to improving the quietness and comfort at cruising speed, stress-free conversation capability on the hands-free telephone system is essential to modern passenger car. Honda has been keen to realize true comfort quality in every aspect with the new Civic. Engineers have boldly adapted a new array microphone system for the first time in the Civic range. This unique digital technology captures the driver’s voice and back ground sound with multiple microphones and digitally process the sound to effectively cut out ambient noise. Noise is also cut completely when the driver is not speaking. This greatly improves sound quality and voice recognition, effectively reduces the stress of conversation while at high speed cruising or with windows open. Both the driver and the person you are talking to over the phone will enjoy stress-free conversation.
The Information Interface zone features Honda’s i-MID Intelligent Multi-Information Display – a color LCD QVGA displaying information on fuel consumption, an outside temperature gauge, a clock and a trip meter, it allows the driver to see extra entertainment information such as album artist. It also provides a wide range of user support information such as the ECON button (see below), audio volume, seatbelt warning, climate control data, etc. The Idle Stop system status can also be displayed on the i-MID.
The new Civic will be offered with three engine options: a 1.4 l i-VTEC petrol unit, a 1.8 l i-VTEC petrol unit and a 2.2 l i-DTEC diesel unit. All the engines are combined with a 6-speed manual gearbox, ECO Assist, and Idle Stop. They are also equipped with Hill Start Assist. The1.8 l engine can be paired with a specially designed 5-speed automatic transmission.
While enhancing the performance, the 2.2 l i-DTEC unit achieved nearly 20% better fuel economy and the 1.8 i-VTEC 10% in comparison with their predecessors.
The chief goal in the engine and transmission development was to maintain the high performance driving experience whilst improving the overall efficiency of the engine resulting in lower running costs.
The new 2.2-litre i-DTEC engine created for the Civic tops the C-segment in its balance of performance and emissions management. In fact, in spite of its impressively low CO2 output (only 110 g/km and nearly 20% improvement from the previous model), it takes only 8.5 seconds to reach 100 km/h from a standstill. Maximum power is up by 10PS from the previous engine to 150PS, and torque has also increased (to 350 Nm at 2000-2750 rpm).
The Civic’s 1.8 litre i-VTEC showcases Honda’s finest VTEC technology and engine management systems. From the outset, the new engine was designed to function as part of a high quality, easy-to-handle powertrain, with improved operation at every stage of the drive, including start-up, shifting, acceleration and deceleration. Starting is quick and easy, gear shifts are seamless and accelerator control is effortless and predictable. Acceleration and deceleration are always smooth and comfortable whether in the city or the suburbs. The same is true of acceleration and high-speed cruising on motorways. Noise and vibration have been greatly reduced and in this area the new 1.8 litre i-VTEC overall a more efficient engine than its predecessor.
The Civic’s 1.4 litre SOHC engine also benefits from Honda’s advanced VTEC technology for efficient fuel management. Like the rest of the engines in the range, it has been fine-tuned and updated to boost both its dynamic performance and its environmental qualities. CO2 emissions have been reduced to just 129 g/km, ensuring EURO-5 compliance. The engine delivers a maximum power figure of 100 PS and a torque figure of 127 Nm at 4800 rpm.
The new Civic’s rear suspension system has been totally revised, whist retaining the basic torsion beam axle layout for maximizing the interior space and keeping the practicality offered by the magic seats. With a focus on developing the new Civic for the various road conditions experienced on European roads, high speed stability was a focus to give the sense of safety and increased rigidity without sacrificing riding comfort, these were key to enhance stability.
Source: Honda press