HONDA New Car Model Guide
Passenger cars by Honda for North America consist of coupes and sedans in several sizes, plus a racy roadster and a small hatchback city car. Honda's 2009 line spotlights fuel efficiency for various models. The cars consist of the best-selling Accord series of mid-size sedans and coupes, plus many versions of the Civic series of compacts including a slinky Civic Si coupe. Also, there's the Fit, Honda's five-door subcompact hatchback, and a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) roadster — S2000.
Honda's front-wheel-drive (FWD) flagship sedan and sensuous coupe variation extend into the 2009 line with a modest boost in horsepower for V6 issues. The 3.5-liter V6 comes with Honda's i-VTEC (intelligent variable value timing and lift electronic control) technology plus the next generation of variable cylinder management (VCM) to conserve on fuel by deactivating half the cylinders. Output reaches 271 hp. Base engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder i-VTEC plant which generates 177 hp (LX and LX-P) or 190 hp (EX-L). Exterior styling appears sleek but angular and edgy with a squared-off prow and classy beveled grille.
Fresh exterior styling applies to Honda's compact four-door sedans and two-door coupes. Safety content includes frontal air bags for front seats, plus front torso side air bags, and curtain-style air bags in roof rails above side windows for front and back seats. Civic's 1.8-liter four-in-line engine contains a drive-by-wire throttle and i-VTEC valve controls. A five-speed manual transmission or five-speed electronic automatic is available. Civic trims out to the entry-level DX, uplevel LX and loaded EX, plus EX-L (leather) and new LX-S with alloy wheels, black cloth seat upholstery, a decklid spoiler and chrome exhaust.
Si Coupe / Sedan
This one's a rakish hatchback coupe with sporty manners and a strong engine on tap. Or it's a four-door sedan cut from the sporty coupe. Unique exterior styling encompasses a wing topping the rear deck and aero cladding on the nose and tail, with four-piston brake calipers evident behind alloy wheels. The cockpit carries sport bucket seats with big side bolsters and bold red fabric stitching. Powertrain is a 2.0-liter i-VTEC four-pack pushed to 197 hp with a close-ratio six-speed manual shifter and helical-type limited slip differential.
This variation off a Civic sedan is a gasoline-electric hybrid, which achieves high fuel economy ratings. Primary power comes from a 1.3-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder gasoline-powered engine that's ultra-efficient. Secondary power is delivered by an electric motor tied to a nickel-metal hydride battery. Honda's IMA power control unit 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. Leather-trimmed seats with heated front seats and heated side mirrors become Civic Hybrid's latest add-on options.
This itsy-bitsy five-door hatchback, with quick styling lines and a fuel-efficient engine tucked below the streamlined prow, works as a small-scale city car with surprising cabin space and affordable price points. Fit's FWD-oriented powertrain is a thrifty four-cylinder engine linked to a manual or automatic shifter drawn from five-gear systems. The 1.5-liter in-line-four uses Honda's i-VTEC valve technology. Fit's cabin contains twin bolstered sport buckets in front of a split bench called a "Magic Seat" as seatbacks dive down and bottom sections flip up to vary configurations for passengers and cargo.
Honda's two-seat roadster, in classic format with a front-mounted engine directing all power to the rear wheels, uses a rigid monocoque chassis, four-wheel double wishbone suspension, precise rack and pinion steering system, disc brakes with anti-lock controls and a race-type six-speed gearbox. A high-tech 2.2-liter aluminum four-cylinder engine makes 237 hp. The club-racer inspired S2000 CR is factory-tuned with aggressive suspension settings, a stiffer body with excess weight pared and an aerodynamic body kit attached to reduce lift. A pop-off hardtop made of aluminum supplants the convertible soft top as standard CR equipment.
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