Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Honda Civic hybrid cars

By: lar

Probably the best looking of the new hybrid cars is the Honda Civic. It still employs the aerodynamics that help to make hybrid cars even more fuel efficient by reducing the wind resistance; allowing the car to move more freely through the air and use less fuel. But somehow they seem to have avoided the pitfalls that some of the other hybrid cars have fallen into where they seem to have been designed mainly for the wind tunnel rather than the street.

With the advent of the Honda hybrid cars being environmentally friendly has suddenly become much more stylish. The chrome front grill is a good feature and enhanced by the sloping headlights and the arched rear light clusters give the whole thing a real designer fell. The raised rather than the enclosed wheel arches that some other hybrid cars have, give the Honda much more the look of a cool (but sensible) roadster than the full on slipstream science project look of some other offerings.

The triangular turn signals also cut quite a dash and are integrated into the wing mirrors. Even the door pillars are slanted backwards to give a stylish impression. This all adds to the fact that these fuel efficient hybrid cars are not designed primarily for tree huggers but for a young trendy market, keen not only to help reduce emissions but also to get heads turning and cut a swath through the more mundane motoring choices.

There are, as well as the usual variety of trim levels available, more interesting options including curtain airbags and even an energy absorbing hood to lessen the levels of impact during a road accident.

The new Honda Civic, hybrid car uses a small 1.3 liter 4 cylinder engine as its main power supply. The engine employs a very clever use of technology whereby it can effectively cut out cylinders that are not required. For instance when the engine is only using a minimal amount of power as in low speed cruising. Another boost to engine efficiency are the aluminum pistons which, when combined with the low drag cylinders give a good power saving.

The hybrid cars engine is assisted by an electric motor that is rated to 20 horsepower. The new hybrid car motor is roughly 50% more powerful the one used in previous versions. The battery pack is also increased in both size and power and now can supply 158v adding considerably to the available horsepower. The combined available horsepower from both the hybrid cars electric and gas engines is 110-horse power. This is very respectable for such a lightweight car and means it is well able to maintain its place both at the lights (it will do 0-60mph in 10 seconds) and on the highway.

The Honda along with most other hybrid cars uses a braking system that allows the electric motor to be run backwards to assist with braking. This also means that the motor is generating power for the batteries and this latest Civic has had improvements to this system that allows it to recoup more 150% more energy than was possible with former versions. This all ads up to better fuel economy, and the latest version on the Honda civic hybrid car should return a figure of around 50mpg for both town and highway driving.

Although there may be cars that can give a greater economy, the new Civic is well worth considering. The stylish looks, excellent performance and very low emissions make this one of the most advanced hybrid cars on the market. It may be a while before the other match this, although the market for hybrid cars is becoming ever more competitive with more manufacturers seeing this as a lucrative market rather than just a passing fad. There could be more and faster hybrid cars innovations on the way.

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Courtesy of:Asian_daily