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Honda hybrid uses less fuel

05 July 2005

Honda has released the first details of its new 1.8-litre petrol engine and hybrid drive system, which offer more power and better fuel economy than current offerings.

New petrol-electric hybrid system offers more power and economy than current Civic IMA

Honda has released the first details of its new 1.8-litre petrol engine and hybrid drive system, which offer more power and better fuel economy than current offerings.

Performance figures have not been confirmed, but Honda claims the new 1.8-litre unit will be one of the world’s most efficient engines of its size.

It will appear first as the entry-level engine in the new Honda Civic small family car, which makes its debut at the end of this year, but will quickly migrate to other cars in the manufacturer’s range.

Honda says the 1.8 develops up to 138bhp and offers the performance of a 2.0-litre with better fuel economy than the current 108bhp 1.6-litre. This means the new Civic should be able to reach 60mph from rest in less than nine seconds and return more than 43mpg on average.

Production versions of the new Civic hatchback will be virtually indistinguishable from the stunning concept version of the car unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

Expect entry-level prices to rise above £12,000 as the 1.8-litre becomes the cheapest option instead of today’s 1.4- and 1.6-litre units.

The new petrol-electric hybrid system also offers more power and economy than the current unit in the Civic IMA. It will go on sale in the UK late next spring in the new four-door Civic to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Power output is improved by 20% but Honda said it would offer ‘significantly’ better fuel economy than the 57.7mpg combined figure of today’s car.

Hatchback hybrids are in the pipeline but they will not appear until next year.

The saloon gets the system first because it is the more popular model worldwide and in America where hybrids are particularly successful.

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