2012 Honda Civic concepts are important for company

10 Jan 2011 | 2,069 views | No Comment
By Don Hammonds It would be pretty tough to overlook the importance of the all-new 2012 Honda Civic that's on the way. Honda is, of course, a highly successful company with some big players across the automotive market board.  But its latest introductions have not been especially welcomed either by consumers or the automotive media. Both its Honda Insight and Honda CR-Z  models have gotten lukewatrm reviews, and neither is a big hit in the sales arena. That puts a lot of pressure on the company to come up with some exciting, interesting stuff for the next Civic, especially when you consider how many compact products are either all-new or heavily revised in the all-new compact car market.  The 2012 Honda Civic concepts seen  at the North American International Auto Show look to be more dynamic products than their predecessors, and they both have design cues that should stand up pretty well in the marketplace if the production models, as expected, are close to the concepts. The 2012 Civic embraces the company's vision as a "Civic for all people," a phrase originally expressed in defining the goal of the first-generation Civic. With the widest array of engine choices available in its class, the 2012 Civic lineup intends to meet the needs of an increasing group of compact-vehicle buyers with a renewed vision of a "Civic for all people,"  a Honda news release says. "The diverse vehicle range includes a sedan and a coupe with conventional gasoline models, two sporty "Si" performance versions, along with one hybrid and a natural gas alternative-fuel variant. Collectively the depth of the Civic line offers a compelling balance between fuel economy, low emissions and fun-to-drive performance unlike any other vehicle in the industry."     Honda calls its current design theme for the Civic a "one motion" mono-form shape, and while you can still see it inthe concepts, the designs themselves are a lot more striking and dynamic than before. The cars have "steeply raked windshields, wide stances and pronounced character lines along the profile. The lower character line on both models broadens toward the rear fenders to enhance the dynamic feeling of forward energy. The front fender surface treatments form a complex, three-dimensional look to further enhance the image of sophistication and structural depth against the deeply set headlights," the news release says. "The Civic Concept sedan takes on a sophisticated presence with a front grille defined by crisp lines and a solid bar that integrates a chrome Honda emblem. The look of the Civic Si Concept coupe conveys an aggressive demeanor with a more angular front fascia, mesh grille and a tapered rear roofline that flows smoothly into the trunk.  The Civic Si Concept coupe is exclusively equipped with a rear air diffuser, a center-mounted exhaust outlet and a rear deck lid spoiler with dual vents. Each concept model has 19-inch machined alloy wheels," the news release adds. Of course, styling, while important, goes only so far, and what's under the hood--always a Honda strong point---is equally essential for the company. Not to worry--Honda's  continuing its powertrain legacy. The news release says, "The Civic's family of engines with "intelligent" Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC®) technology become even more fuel efficient for 2012. The upcoming Civic Hybrid offers the latest generation of the compact and lightweight Integrated Motor Assist™ (IMA™) gasoline-electric hybrid system and features the first application of a lithium-ion battery in a Honda hybrid. " The release says, " Building on its emphasis on fuel-economy, most upcoming Civic models receive Honda Eco Assist™ technology, already available in the CR-Z and Insight hybrids. The 2012 Civic is the first U.S. Honda model to employ Eco Assist technology in a gasoline-only powered vehicle. Eco Assist is just one example of how the new Civic can be customized and configured by the drivers to suit individual preferences."

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