cars developed by Honda - a worldly automaker
originating in Japan but now with extensive design
and production facilities in North America - represent
a diverse fleet that collectively ranks as the
least-polluting line in the American marketplace.
2004 collection, in fact, contains two unique hybrid vehicles that carry both
an ultra-efficient gasoline-powered engine as well as a battery-powered electric
motor. The two draw energy from both plants in an unusual hybrid arrangement designed
to maximize fuel economy and reduce emissions.
original hybrid, the Insight in a daring design
with two-seat coupe format, scores as the most
fuel-efficient production vehicle in America.
Then Honda's Civic sedan , the country's best-selling
compact, spins off a variation called Civic Hybrid.
It too is a gasoline-electric hybrid but stocks
a 1.3-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine plus
an ultra-thin direct-current electric motor.
Gasoline-powered Civics in sedan and coupe variations
return to the 2004 class with restyled bodies
flashing revamped hoods, headlights and grilles.
Civic Si, a long and tall hatchback coupe with
rakish lines, sporty manners and a high-tech engine
on tap, also repeats but rolls on larger 16-inch
wheels and gets new silver trim on the instrument
midsize Accord series, recast in 2003 with a seventh-generation design for the
stylish four-door sedan and slinky two-door coupe, gains standard equipment on
deluxe editions such as XM satellite radio service.
comes Honda's raucous two-seater, S2000, in classic roadster format with a front-mounted
engine directing forceful power to the two rear wheels. A new engine worth 240
hp with revamped transmission gearing plus revised suspension tuning brings more
enthusiasm to Honda's roadster, and new color choices are available like Rio Yellow
midsize sedan and coupe debuted last year with slick new exterior styling, new
powertrains aboard and expanded cabins with more room for riders and more standard
equipment. The glittery face and edgy lines shaping the sedan look sophisticated,
even expensive. A steep rake to hood and windshield adds notched corners and multi-lens
headlamp clusters in geometric formats. Fenders and flanks reveal not only hard
and straight lines denoting strength and speed but also complex curves with both
convex and concave angles for artistic sculpture.
the coupe borrows enough styling cues from the sedan to maintain a family resemblance
yet the two-door seems to hunker down on pavement due to a lower roofline and
the high beltline with elongated doors plus sweeping rear fenders that suggest
speed and agility. The impression of strength and speed is supported by a pair
of engines from Honda developed expressly to out-perform predecessors in terms
of power and efficiency as well as fuel economy.
base four-cylinder engine displaces 2.4 liters with output extending to 160 hp.
Both coupe and sedan carry the base engine. In the sedan, it comes with three
trims of DX, LX and EX, while the coupe shows LX and EX issues. Both also offer
an aluminum 3.0-liter V6 with single overhead cam and VTEC controls. It runs up
to 240 hp. An available five-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission
or six-speed manual slips into the top coupe edition, EX V6.
fancy five-seat cabin features LED lighting for instruments and separate climate
controls for driver and passenger. Trims EX-L and EX V6 add XM satellite radio
as standard equipment, while curtain-style side air bags are now optional on EX
four-cylinder models. Deep Green Pearl is one of several new body shades available
for both coupe and sedan.
The compact-class four-door sedan and two-door notchback coupe from Honda show
new body styling with reshaped front and rear bumpers plus a new hood, headlights
and front grille. Sedan and coupe designs measure the same for wheelbase and share
key components, although exteriors differ because the coupe is slightly wider
and lower and its windshield tips farther back for slicker streamlining.
trims apply, with the mileage-leading Civic HX using a lean-burn version that
achieves 117 hp and DX and LX equipped with a standard edition at 115 hp but EX
souped to 127 hp. A new Value Package (VP) for Civic DX stacks on additional gear
like air conditioning, a CD player and front console with armrest and storage
bin. Civic EX has new 15-inch alloy wheels, while the LX gets a new keyless entry
traces to 1984 in Honda lore with the Civic S hatchback. When fuel injection was
added in 1986, the badge became Si, with the lower-case i indicating injection.
Other Honda innovations followed, including the first North American application
of Honda's VTEC wizardry of valve control.
Current version looks cool in a format that's a radical departure from the conventional
stubby hatchback of previous Si iterations. The sleek shell and sturdy mechanical
equipment may serve as a blank canvass that invites after-market modifications
to build unique wheels. In three-door format inspired by diminutive European hatchbacks,
Civic Si seems stout and stretches long over a wedge-shaped body.
kicks, a high-output dual-cam four-cylinder engine displaces 2.0 liters and supports
the latest version of Honda's VTEC technology. The plant produces 160 hp and connects
to a five-speed manual stick, the only transmission offered.
lever, mounted at the base of the center pod on the dash, extends upward to a
point near the right side of the steering wheel. You can shift it quickly in the
style of rally racers without moving your hand far off the steering wheel. This
unusual placement for the shift stick sets the tone for an uncluttered but functional
16-inch wheels replace last year's 15-inch rollers, while restyled headlights
and taillights decorate the prow and tail as the instrument panel shows a silver
exterior styling for sedans and coupes in the Civic series also works on this
gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle. There's a thrifty but conventional 1.3-liter
four-cylinder plant that operates on gasoline plus a battery-powered electric
motor of permanent-magnet design. But the beauty of Honda's dual-engine power
system is that Civic Hybrid looks and acts like a conventional car and delivers
more than adequate acceleration for city driving and even speedy moves on a freeway.
Civic Hybrid - Continued
silent at start-up due to its electric motor connection, Honda's hybrid leaps
to action on command with the gasoline engine kicking up fast-fired acceleration.
Primary power comes from the four-cylinder gasoline-powered engine, an ultra-efficient
plant composed of lightweight materials like aluminum, magnesium and durable plastics.
It uses low-friction and lean-burn techniques with Honda's variable valve control
to produce 85 hp.
power is delivered by the high-output permanent-magnet electric motor tied to
a 144-volt nickel-metal hydride battery. It makes 10 kilowatts of power, or 13
hp. A power control unit called Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) regulates the electric
charge from the battery, then uses electricity generated through vehicle braking
and decelerating to recharge the unit so it never needs to be plugged in for recharging
like an electric vehicle.
hybrid Civic carries upgraded fabrics in the cabin, plus an automatic climate
controller and alloy wheels, with standard safety features of an anti-lock brake
system (ABS) and frontal plus side-impact air bags.
Honda coupe looks daring due to its slick shell featuring a prominent nose, windswept
windshield, flat side panels with skirts covering rear wheelwells and a rear section
that tapers in flanks to a blunt tail. It's a daring concept too with body weight
pared through a lightweight aluminum frame and, to maximize fuel efficiency, both
a modest three-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor are under the hood
and working together to produce high fuel economy figures -- up to 68 mpg with
the manual five-speed transmission.
the comfortable cockpit, twin high-back bucket seats stand on either side of a
center console, with ample space for body parts, including a generous stretch
for legs. Convenience features range from power controls for windows and door
locks to remote releases for fuel door and hatch.
CD deck linked to four speakers now stand on the list of standard equipment for
Insight, and a new paint color -- Navy Blue Pearl -- replaces Monte Carlo Blue
Honda's two-seat sports car is drawn in classic roadster format with a front-mounted
engine directing strong power to the two rear wheels. It uses a rigid monocoque
chassis, four-wheel double wishbone suspension, precise rack and pinion steering
system, four disc brakes with anti-lock controls and a tight race-type six-speed
gearbox. New is the high-tech 2.2-liter aluminum four-cylinder engine that rocks
at 240 hp. The S2000 looks as aggressive as it acts.
sleek wedge-shaped shell shows an extended prow and curt tail with the aerodynamic
face marked by clear-lens high-intensity headlamps, a clean wrap of monotone bumpers
and vast horizontal air port. Flanks bulge at front wheelwells with muscular shoulders
accentuated by sheer vertical planes arching over the openings, followed by rolled
side slabs and more contours from rear wheelwell extensions.
form-fitting bucket seats drop on either side of the high center spine, which
has an improved console with twin cupholders and storage tray.
INFORMATION FROM HONDA]