8th Gen / 2006 Civic Info
Lots of New Features, More Performance, More Style...
The 2006 Civic (8th Generation) is coming soon and we're very excited about many of the new features Honda has included. The Si looks like it will be the new peformance benchmark for the small car segment, and we can't wait to see what parts will be available for it! To wet your appetite a little, we've provided this in-depth article detailing exactly what to expect in the new Civic. (Note: Text and images courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.)
The Honda Civic is the cornerstone of Honda and its automotive heritage, earning recognition and acclaim as an icon in the automotive industry since its introduction in 1973. The Civic represents the first high volume production automobile that showcased Honda's spirit of innovation to a North American audience ready for something new. Cumulatively, Civic has reached 16 million customers globally and 7 million in the United States, where it has been the best selling retail compact car for the past nine years. The Civic was the seventh best selling vehicle overall in 2004 and third best selling passenger car. If the Civic were its own individual brand, annual sales in excess of 300,000 would make it the 13th top selling brand in the United States out of more than 40 possible brands (1).
As the Civic has been re-invented throughout its previous seven generations, each new model has consistently set new standards in the automotive industry with its innovative packaging, attractive styling, high fuel economy, low emissions, fun-to-drive performance, reliability and safety. The pioneering eighth generation 2006 model amplifies the defining character of the Civic with a long list of Honda technology and engineering innovations, resulting in a vehicle that is pure Honda, exclusively Civic and outside the boundaries of traditional small car thinking.
The 2006 Civic represents an extreme transformation of design and dynamics. Multiple powertrains for 2006 range from 197-horsepower (2) high performance to 51 mpg gas-sipping hybrid to an all-around performer with two body styles, representing one of the most diverse vehicles in the industry. An expressive and futuristic design with exciting performance and a dedication to providing advanced safety technology set the Civic apart from the competition.
(1) 2004 data.
(2) Horsepower and torque calculations reflect new SAE J1349 procedures revised August, 2004.
2006 Civic Highlights
Some vehicles in the compact segment can provide fun-to-drive performance, or safety, or environmental performance; but only the Civic can deliver all of these traits simultaneously along with value, style and sophistication - with models custom tailored for a performance enthusiast, a technology enthusiast and a mainstream buyer.
(4) Fuel economy values determined from manufacturer test results. Official 2006 EPA mileage estimates were not available at time of printing. Mileage figures shown for comparison purposes only. Actual mileage may vary.
Civic Sedan and Coupe
(6) Fuel economy values determined from manufacturer test results. Official 2006 EPA mileage estimates were not available at time of printing. Mileage figures shown for comparison purposes only. Actual mileage may vary.
The Civic Enters a New Dimension
The Civic has always offered industry-leading features designed to reward customers with fun-to-drive performance, efficient and environmentally friendly operation and enhanced safety, and the 2006 model goes further than any Civic before it. The first noticeable difference is that both Civic Sedan and Coupe have entirely new dimensions that make each vehicle wider and shorter in height for a sleek, futuristic appearance that also benefits packaging efficiency, handling and ride quality.
Compared to its 2005 predecessor, the 2006 Civic Sedan has grown 1.4 inches in overall length (176.8 inches) and 1.5 inches in width (69.0 inches). Its 106.3-inch wheelbase is 3.2 inches longer, while the rear overhang is 3.1 inches shorter and the front overhang is 1.8 inches longer. Height has been reduced by 0.2 inches. The front track is 1.1 inches wider (59.0 inches) and the rear track is 2.2 inches wider (60.2 inches). Vehicle weight has increased by approximately 5 percent on each trim level - a relatively small gain considering the addition of extensive standard safety equipment, new features and greatly increased bending and torsional rigidity.
The 2006 Civic Coupe has been reduced 0.6 inches in overall length (174.8 inches) compared to the 2005 model, and is now 1.4 inches wider (68.9 inches). Its coupe-exclusive 104.3-inch wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer, while the front and rear overhang lengths remain unchanged. Overall height has been reduced by 1.6 inches (55.1 inches). The front track is 1.1 inches wider (59.0 inches) and the rear track is 2.1 inches wider (60.1). Like the sedan, vehicle weight has increased by approximately 5 percent on each trim level.
Civic Si Powertrain: 2.0-Liter / 6MT
The Civic Si is available exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission. Designed to be exceptionally compact and lightweight, this 6-speed has also been engineered to shift with extremely short and precise throws. A final drive ratio of 4.76:1 promotes aggressive acceleration while a tall 6th gear provides for relaxed highway cruising. The short-throw clutch has an innovative torsion mechanism that considerably reduces noise. Multiple synchronizers are utilized, and 5th and 6th gears feature single carbon synchronizers for a direct shift feel.
Most vehicles have open differentials that send power to usually just one wheel in a corner, resulting in wheel spin and less potential for applying throttle and acquiring faster acceleration. The helical type limited slip differential (LSD) in the Civic Si improves acceleration and cornering performance by insuring that both front wheels receive an optimum level of torque at all times. In a straight line, both wheels are better utilized to put the engine's power to the ground with minimal wheel spin. During hard cornering, the LSD transmits more torque toward the outside wheel to bias more power to the tire with the most grip and facilitates the outside wheel's longer travel distance relative to the inner wheel. Primary benefits include the ability to accelerate harder exiting corners and enhances the vehicle's responsiveness to throttle inputs in corners.
(11) Horsepower and torque calculations reflect new SAE J1349 procedures revised August, 2004.
Civic Hybrid Powertrain: 1.3-Liter/ IMA / CVT
Honda's industry leading reputation for extracting power and fuel economy from its gasoline engines explains its unique approach to electric hybridization. First, Honda can build a small engine with exceptionally high power output and high efficiency as the foundation for the hybrid powertrain. This integrates well with Honda's simple, elegant, and efficient IMA system that eliminates the need for a large, heavy and complex electric drive system. Second, Honda's hybrid performance strategy lends itself well to the driving habits of North American consumers who tend to live in suburban settings and have commutes that include mixed highway and city driving by delivering similarly high economy levels for both driving modes.
Some hybrid systems built by other manufacturers actually provide higher city fuel economy than highway - a feature that benefits only those who live in dense urban areas with heavy stop and go traffic. City drivers also tend to put fewer annual miles on their vehicle, which minimizes the return on investment for a hybrid powertrain. Overall, Honda's advanced IMA system provides the greatest advantage to high mileage commuters, who can benefit the most from clean and efficient hybrid technology.
The fourth generation Honda IMA system consists of a 1.3-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine connected to a high power electric motor and a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). A battery pack is used to capture and store electricity for the electric motor. Like all contemporary hybrid powertrains, the system uses a gasoline engine as the primary source of power and an electric motor provides additional power and electricity regeneration capability. During acceleration, the engine or the engine and electric motor propel the vehicle.
During cruising, the gasoline engine and/or the electric motor can propel the vehicle. This means the Civic Hybrid can drive on the electric motor alone in certain cruising situations, a new capability for 2006. During braking, the gasoline engine deactivates and the electric motor acts as generator to charge the battery pack. At a stop, the engine can enter an idle stop mode to save fuel, and the engine is turned off until the brake pedal is released.
Overall, the 18 percent more powerful 110-horsepower fourth generation Honda IMA powertrain provides stronger starting and overtaking acceleration compared to its predecessor while its estimated city/highway fuel economy of 49/51 mpg provides a maximum driving range over 625 miles. The gasoline engine and electric motor combine to produce a maximum output of 110-horsepower (12) @ 6000 rpm and 123 lb-ft. of torque (12) @ 1000-2500 rpm.
(12) Horsepower and torque calculations reflect new SAE J1349 procedures revised August, 2004.
Building on the strong foundation of the 2005 Civic Hybrid 1.3-liter i-DSI gasoline engine, the 2006 1.3-liter i-VTEC with VCM gasoline engine implements a wide assortment of new technology including a three-stage i-VTEC system that provides a low and high cam profile to increase power output while also adding Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) capability to deactivate all four of the engine's cylinders (instead of three previously). The new valvetrain helps to drastically reduce internal pumping losses during deceleration and contributes to the increase in electrical regeneration of 170 percent. The engine still features an "intelligent" dual and sequential ignition system that uses two spark plugs per cylinder and allows for more complete combustion of the fuel by firing the two spark plugs either at the same time or in a sequential, one-two fashion depending on the driving condition. By itself, gasoline engine output is rated at 93 horsepower @ 6000 rpm (+ 9 percent) and torque is rated at 89 lb-ft. @ 4500 rpm (+2 percent).
Dramatic new technology has also been added to the electric motor, Intelligent Power Unit and battery pack to improve performance, reduce size and minimize weight. The 15-kilowatt electric motor uses a high performance magnet and flat wire construction to improve torque output by 30 percent, horsepower by 46 percent and efficiency by 3 percent. By itself, the electric motor is rated at 20 horsepower @ 2000 rpm and torque is rated at 76 lb-ft. @ 0-1160 rpm. The brain of the IMA system - the Intelligent Power Unity (IPU) - is 13 percent smaller and weighs slightly less. Related components including the Power Control Unit (PCU) and DC/DC converter are also smaller and weigh less while providing greater operational capabilities. The 158-volt battery pack provides 27 percent more assist power, can recharge 14 percent faster and its size has been reduced by 12 percent.
A Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is standard equipment on all Civic Hybrids. The newly designed transmission provides a wider range between the maximum and minimum gear ratios to enhance acceleration and minimize engine rpm at high speeds. The transmission provides smooth and predictable transitions and helps keep the IMA system operating at its peak efficiency.
A cooperative regenerative braking system has been added that intelligently directs braking power between the hydraulic brakes and the electric motor (which acts as a generator to provide significant resistance for braking). Less reliance on the traditional braking system and reduced engine pumping losses translate into greater electrical regeneration (170 percent more than the 2005 Civic Hybrid) and ultimately improved fuel economy.
Civic Sedan and Civic Coupe Powertrain: 1.8-Liter / 5MT / 5AT
The Civic's 1.8-liter i-VTEC engine minimizes pumping losses during cruising and low engine load situations, an important factor in creating more efficient engines. Pumping losses are reduced when the variable valve timing allows an intake valve to remain open for a brief time period as the piston begins its compression stroke. By keeping an intake valve open during part of the compression stroke, some of the volume of unburned air/fuel mixture in the cylinder moves back inside the intake manifold and lowers the volume being compressed, or "pumped."
During cruising or other stable, low-load driving conditions, the new engine utilizes a dedicated set of cams to close one of the intake valves and retard that valve's timing, exerting backpressure on the air-fuel mixture. This reduces the actual intake air volume. Meanwhile, the throttle is opened wider to provide optimum control over engine output. Opening the throttle valve wider, in other words, widening the path that the air flows through - reduces pumping losses to result in a significant improvement in engine efficiency.
The pumping loss reduction yields fuel economy similar to an engine with a displacement of a 1.5-liter engine. The ability to reduce pumping losses during low engine loads allows for more aggressive tuning of the engine during high loads such as when accelerating. During high load situations, the VTEC system provides high output valve timing for maximum power. Gone is the normal valve timing, replaced by two fundamentally greater extremes. A dual-stage air intake, a lightweight powertrain and optimized gearing further add to the performance character of the vehicle.
Whereas traditional VTEC operation changes valve opening duration based on higher oil pressure during high rpm operation at one side of the valvetrain's rocker arms, the Civic's i-VTEC system can switch valve timing duration at low rpm and low oil pressure using two hydraulic actuators on both sides of the intake rocker arm. This engagement method is similar to that used on the Accord Hybrid and Odyssey i-VTEC systems.
This Civic's i-VTEC valve timing reacts to driving conditions related to throttle opening, vehicle speed, engine rpm and gear selection. A sophisticated drive-by-wire throttle control, air flow meter and dual-stage air intake allow the Engine Control Unit (ECU) to create seamless transitions between the two modes of engine operation.
The Civic Sedan and Civic Coupe are available with either a 5-speed manual transmission (standard) or an electronically controlled 5-speed automatic transmission (available). The 5-speed automatic transmission - among the first in the entry level compact class - is all new for 2006 and improves on the previous 4-speed automatic design with a wider overall ratio that maximizes acceleration in gears one through four and optimizes fuel economy in its overdrive fifth gear. The computer controlled "direct control" transmission provides amazingly smooth shifts. The direct control, along with gear ratios closely matched to the output curve of the engine, help to deliver more power at just the right time to provide overall vehicle performance competitive to vehicles with 4-speed automatic transmissions, yet more horsepower.
The 5-speed manual transmission has also been redesigned into a more lightweight and compact unit that minimizes power-robbing rotating mass and adds a rotating select link for quick and direct gear changes. Additional features include a low friction design with single cone synchronizers in all gears and high capacity bearings throughout. From a performance standpoint, the new manual transmission has a higher torque capacity and a shorter, firmer and more direct shift feel.
Advanced Personal Compact Styling
The 2006 Civic is available as either a sedan (Civic Hybrid, Civic Sedan) or a coupe (Civic Si, Civic Coupe). All models follow the "Advanced Personal Compact" design theme that incorporates a sweeping roofline and ultra-fast windshield rake that highlights the vehicle's advanced one-motion profile, low and wide stance, and superior aerodynamic performance. The sedan and coupe each have 100 percent unique sheetmetal and unique proportions such as wheelbase, height and windshield angle. Wheel openings on both minimize the gap between the tire and the body to some of the lowest levels in the industry of just 1.9 inches front and 1.7 inches rear (a reduction of 0.7 inches front and 1.2 inches rear, respective to the 2005 Civic Sedan).
As the performance leader for the lineup, the Civic Si conveys an aggressive attitude that speaks to the performance potential underneath that also carries over into the Civic Coupe. The steeply raked windshield creates a 21.9-degree angle that is even sleeker than the 23.9 degree rake in the Acura NSX supercar. The long trunk deck, with its frontward sloping bumper, accents the forward motion conveyed by the overall vehicle shape. A trapezoidal lower body with short front and rear overhangs further convey a powerful stance.
The Civic Hybrid styling sets the direction for the Civic Sedan with a technologically sophisticated and refined presence derived from a monoform design, long wheelbase and short front and rear overhang. The steeply raked windshield on the sedan forms a 23.9-degree angle.
The Civic is built on an all-new version of Honda's Global Compact Platform. The solid unit body of the Civic was designed from the outset to define a new standard for torsional and bending rigidity in the compact segment. The new Global Compact Platform implements advanced body construction technologies for enhanced safety, better rigidity, improved ride comfort and a quieter cabin. With 50 percent total high strength steel content and advanced new structural engineering, torsional rigidity increases by 35 percent.
Body construction now includes Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) Body Structure that enhances frontal collision energy management through a network of load bearing structures in the front of the vehicle. Conceived around "real world" safety, this newly developed front-end frame structure incorporates new upper and lower frame members to significantly enhance energy dispersion in a frontal collision. The ACE concept differs from traditional crash designs that channel a high percentage of collision force through a vehicle's two lower channels in a collision (useful only if the frames of the two vehicles connect). The ACE design with its polygonal front structure helps reduce the potential for misalignment with the frame of the opposing vehicle. These features are designed to increase compatibility between vehicles of different size categories for enhanced occupant protection in the event of a collision.
Honda's commitment to safety extends to pedestrians as well as vehicle occupants. To help reduce pedestrian injuries in the event of a collision, the Civic's hood and fender areas are designed to deform if contacted by the head of an adult or child pedestrian. Energy-absorbing collapsible hood supports, wiper arms and fender mounts are designed to allow substantial deformation in an impact.
The Civic conveys an aerodynamic presence on the surface, but many aerodynamic improvements exist in areas that may not be as obvious. All models feature a chin spoiler and multiple under covers that reduce air turbulence near the engine, rear wheels and rear bumper. The Civic Si manages airflow even further and features a rear wing spoiler that creates meaningful and intentional downforce at high speeds, along with a brake cooling strake (a small fin ahead of the front wheel) that directs air across the brake rotor like a dedicated brake duct. The Civic Hybrid and Civic Coupe models use a lip spoiler on the trunk that cleans up the airflow behind the vehicle. The Civic Hybrid has an enhanced undercover for even cleaner aerodynamics. In order to accommodate the steeply raked windshield and its significant surface area, opposable windshield wipers are used that cover more surface area than typical wipers and the blade bodies have a flat design that makes air flow push the wiper blades firmly against the glass.
Honda has a tradition of making its vehicles fun-to-drive with responsive suspension tuning and refined road manners. Precise and sharp handling performance also contributes to accident avoidance maneuverability. The 2006 Honda Civic chassis delivers higher levels of sportiness and ride comfort with improvements in three key areas - enhanced suspension geometry with larger wheels and tires, a longer wheelbase, and a new generation 4-channel anti-lock braking system. The changes add up to a new Civic that is even more responsive and sporty in demanding situations while also maintaining a smooth and quiet ride.
The all-new MacPherson strut front suspension design incorporates new geometry with a high caster angle for straight line stability along with improved toe-control dynamics for sharp and responsive steering. Changes to steering angles, bushings, material rigidity, and spring and shock tuning result in amazingly linear suspension movement at the upper limit of vehicle dynamics and flatter cornering.
The all-new multi-link double wishbone rear suspension design benefits from a new design that facilitates a longer damper stroke and improved positioning of the damper itself. The additional rebound stroke allows the vehicle to soak up bumps and harsh road surfaces with quietness and ease. The damper is mounted closer to the wheel for a more favorable 1.1:1 lever ratio (the relationship between the suspension movement and the distance that the damper actually travels). The previous relationship was 1.7:1. The more direct relationship means the forces acting on the shock do not become magnified and the intended tuning provides maximum benefit throughout a wider range of suspension travel. These changes combined with sport-oriented spring and damper tuning greatly increase the overall sporty feel of the vehicle and increase the feeling of coordination between the front and rear suspensions (a surprisingly uncommon trait in many vehicles).
The steering systems feature quick gear ratios for sharp and sporty transitions. Previously a high-mounted steering gearbox, the new steering system is now located lower in the vehicle to improve suspension geometry for a more direct feel and quick response. The Civic Si and Civic Hybrid feature a sport-oriented speed sensitive Electric Power Steering (EPS) that increases power assist at low speeds and reduces power assist at high speeds. The Civic Coupe and Civic Sedan use a speed sensitive hydraulic power steering system. All models have a tilt and telescope steering wheel.
Larger wheels and tires contribute to the Civic's improvement in ride and handling. The Civic Si uses Michelin's all-season Pilot HX MXM4 tire in size P215/45 R17 (also available is a new Pilot Exalto high performance summer version as a factory option) and 17x7 inch alloy wheels. A dealer installed 18-inch tire and wheel package is available. The Civic Hybrid features P195/65 R15 low rolling resistance tires with lightweight and aerodynamic 15x6 alloy wheels. The most popular LX and EX trim levels for sedan and coupe have P205/55 R16 tires and 16x6.5 inch wheels (the EX has alloy wheels and the LX has steel wheels with covers). The DX sedan and coupe ride on P195/65 R15 tires with 15x6 steel wheels with covers.
All Civics are equipped with a new 4-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). Disc brakes are used on the front and rear wheels on Si and EX models; rear drum brakes are used on Hybrid, LX and DX models.
High-tech and futuristic just begin to describe the Civic's new interior at the core of its design. Honda stylists and engineers prioritized sophistication to create a high-quality, advanced and sporty space with the latest technology, loads of storage and innovative ergonomics. More standard features and new available features like a voice activated navigation system highlight the dedication to taking the interior to an entirely new level.
A two-tier instrument panel positions priority gauges like the speedometer up high in the driver's field of vision. The increased body width allows the seats to be wider and more supportive, and a spacious multi-functional center console accommodates up to 20 compact discs and performs armrest duties for both front occupants. Active front seat head restraints are used to help minimize the potential for whiplash injuries in a rear collision.
The latest generation of the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System is available on Si, Hybrid and EX models and features a 6.5-inch mechanical display that opens and closes for access to the internal single-disc CD player and a new digital audio card reader that can play MP3 and WMA files from CompactFlash(R) cards. The navigation system features more than 6 million points of interest and can control the audio system. The voice recognition is capable of recognizing and inputting numbers, street names and cities.
All audio systems are more powerful with as much as 350 watts and seven speakers including an 8-inch subwoofer on the EX Coupe and Si models. Auxiliary audio input jacks are standard equipment on LX and above trim levels (coupe) and EX and Hybrid models (sedan), allowing for portable music device playback through the car's speakers. XM(R) Satellite Radio is standard on navigation-equipped coupe models, while EX sedan and Hybrid models are XM-Ready. The LX models have a six-speaker 160-watt audio system with a single-disc CD player (four speakers for the LX sedan). All Civic audio systems have MP3/WMA CD playback capability. Coupe audio systems feature Speed-Sensitive Volume Control (SVC) that automatically adjusts the volume based on vehicle speed. Coupe audio systems also feature CD/MP3 text readout with a customizable welcome screen. The DX models are pre-wired for an audio system and have four speakers pre-installed.
Honda researchers conducted a study that tracked the eye movements of drivers and prioritized the Civic's gauges and their placement for quick recognition time. Based on this research, a two-tier instrument panel was created that takes advantage of the generous dashboard space from the steeply raked windshield. A digital speedometer, fuel gauge and temperature gauge are housed in the upper level to be more in-line with the driver's line-of-sight resulting in shorter eye movements between the most commonly referenced gauges and the road. The lower level of the instrument panel houses a tachometer, multi-information digital display, odometer with trip meter and a variety of warning indicators. The Civic Si provides an rpm rev-limit indicator on the upper level. The Civic Hybrid can display instantaneous fuel economy in the upper level and the lower level displays battery charge level along with instantaneous IMA charge and assist displays.
All the above images from hondanews.com © American Honda Motor Co., Inc.