From Honda press: The all-new 2012 Honda Civic represents the ninth generation of one of the company's most popular and globally recognized products. Having earned a reputation for being a fun-to-drive compact that is simultaneously fuel efficient, sporty, stylish and durable, the Civic has become a beloved and relied-upon member of the worldwide transportation family. Cumulatively, the Civic has reached 8.8 million customers in the United States through 2010 since its launch as a 1973 model.
Each generation of Civic has improved with a specific development theme in mind. The 2012 Civic embraces the fundamental concept of a “futuristic and distinctive compact,” a direction that introduces new values that reach ahead of present-day needs and elevates the experience that Civic represents. Major strides include improvements to refinement throughout, increased fuel economy on all models, the further addition of interactive technologies for personalization and convenience, along with enhancements to performance, ride and interior packaging.
The newest-generation Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system fitted to the Civic Hybrid uses a gasoline engine as the primary source of power while an electric motor provides additional power and electricity regeneration capability. The new IMA system consists of a larger 1.5-liter i-VTEC® 4-cylinder engine connected to a larger, more powerful electric motor and a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). A new Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery pack is used to capture and store electricity for the upgraded 23-horsepower electric motor. The new Lithium-Ion battery is more powerful, lighter and more compact than the nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery it replaces. Together, the gasoline engine and electric motor team to produce 110 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 127 lb-ft of torque at 1000-3500 rpm. Compared to the previous generation Civic Hybrid, the new Civic Hybrid has the same peak horsepower, but achieves it at 500 fewer rpm. The new Hybrid has gained 4 lb-ft of torque, and it is spread over a wider rpm range (between 1000 rpm to 3500 rpm) for improved performance during normal city driving. During acceleration, the engine or the engine and electric motor propel the vehicle. During sustained cruising, the gasoline engine and/or the electric motor can individually propel the vehicle. During braking, the gasoline engine deactivates and the electric motor acts as generator to replenish the Li-Ion battery pack. When the vehicle is at a stop, the engine can enter an idle-stop mode to conserve fuel and reduce emissions – and the engine remains off until the brake pedal is released.
Compared to the previous Civic Hybrid, the fifth-generation Honda IMA powertrain provides improved acceleration at highway speeds, while simultaneously delivering a combined city/highway EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 44 mpg – an increase of 3 mpg from the previous model.
The 2012 Civic Hybrid's taillight system features attention-grabbing LED illumination for the brake lights and soft glowing surface lighting for the taillights. The sculpted, 3-dimensional look of the units adds a distinctive and technical styling element to the rear view of the Civic. Additionally, LED lighting uses less power and longer service life compared to traditional tungsten light bulbs, which is consistent with the vehicle's emphasis on efficiency.