The All New 2006 Honda Civic Is Now Available in Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, 9 March 2006 - Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd, today unveiled the All New 8th generation Honda Civic at a media event. The 8th generation Civic represents a giant leap forward in automotive technologies but remains a car that reflects the times.
Labeled the 'Advanced Dynamic Sedan', the new Civic carries a significant transformation of design and dynamics with noticeable features such as an expressive exterior styling, a high-tech and spacious interior and the innovative new i-VTEC engine that combines sportier fun-to-drive performance with improved fuel economy.
The new Civic's rejuvenated look is overflowing with emotional design, trendsetting styles and adventurous inspiration. The car was designed to convey a one-motion profile and it achieves these qualities with its sweeping roofline, sleek windshield angle, and taut side body lines.
The new Civic's sophisticated and spacious interior is designed to offer both driving pleasure and a relaxed, expansive feeling. Driving pleasure is further enhanced by a Multiplex cockpit, an advanced multi-tiered dashboard display that positions the speedometer, and other frequently checked displays on an upper tier near the driver's line of sight for minimum eye movement while driving, whereas the tachometer, and other gauges are located on the lower tier.
Another attractive value of the new Civic is that it features a newly developed 1.8L i-VTEC engine that aims to produce bigger power output in acceleration as well as low fuel consumption in cruise driving. It is as powerful as a 2.0L engine yet at the same time it is just as fuel economic as a 1.5L engine due to the i-VTEC (Intelligent Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) technology being used.
Speaking at the media event, Yasuhide Mizuno, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd, said: "Since the 1st generation Civic in 1972, we have been creating new values for the next generations and with this 8th generation Civic, we are reinventing new values that surpass all existing ones in the sedan class. The all new Civic is truly a car designed for everyone and continues to earn the support and respect from Malaysians for its performance, reliability and quality." Mizuno announced that Honda Malaysia's sales target for 2006 is 30,000 units and the new Civic is expected to make up 20% of the sales.
Also speaking at the media event is Satoshi Toshida, who is currently Senior Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.'s Asia-Oceania operations and also Asian Honda Motor Co., Ltd.'s President and Chief Executive Officer.
"For many of our customers, the Civic defines Honda. When it was first introduced 34 years ago, the Civic quickly became Honda's first mass market automobile sold on a global scale. To date, over 16 million customers in some 160 countries have purchased it. Our goal for each new generation of the Civic is to achieve substantive improvements in all measures of an automobile's value, including driving performance, fuel economy, safety, environmental friendliness and packaging. In so doing, we want to ensure that each new generation of the Civic immediately sets a new, global benchmark for its category", said Toshida.
A new assignment awaits Toshida as of 1 April 2006 when he officially becomes the Chief Operating Officer of Honda Motor's global power products' operations. Power Products is one of Honda's 3 core businesses, along with automobiles and motorcycles. It is one of the fastest growing businesses and includes solar panel development as well as multi-purpose engines used to power everything from lawn mowers to speedboats. In addition, Toshida will oversee the continuing development of the Honda jet.
Meanwhile, 2005 was a record breaking year for Honda Malaysia with the company enjoying a sales record of 27,462 units, an increase of 11% compared to 2004. Honda Malaysia hopes to achieve a total sales target of 30,000 units this year and to recover the No.1 position in the Civic segment.
Key Features of the All-New Honda Civic
Newly developed 1.8L i-VTEC engine
The newly developed 1.8L i-VTEC system further improves on Honda's original VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) technology to allow the engine to retard intake valve closure timing under low engine-load driving conditions. Valve control is complemented by a DBW (Drive By Wire) system that provides optimum throttle valve control, significantly reducing pumping losses. This results in greater energy efficiency, for a major improvement in fuel economy while cruising. At the same time, improved intake efficiency and a higher compression ratio deliver an output of 140PS (103kW) at 6,300 rpm and 174Nm (17.7kg-m) of torque at 4,300 rpm.
To take full advantage of the engine's performance characteristics, Honda has developed a 5-speed automatic transmission that achieves both powerful acceleration and superior fuel economy. In addition to direct control via a linear solenoid and coordination of control functions with the DBW system, the use of both close and wide gear ratios delivers dynamic off-the-line performance and smooth, shock-free acceleration, combined with outstanding fuel economy during high-speed cruising.
The exterior employs a forward-cabin, sporty monoform design, with the front window thrust boldly ahead, emphasizing the extension of the front fenders and rear deck with the cabin more compact lengthwise. The result is a form rich in three-dimensional contours that emphasizes the independence of the cabin while at the same time imparting a sensation of dynamic solidity.
From the front view, sharply designed, innovatively shaped headlights slant boldly up to either side of the horizontal floating center grill. Elegantly flush surfaces emphasize the unity of the front mask, which gently blends into the hood and up to the expansive surface of the front windshield to impart a feel of aerodynamic, high performance quality.
From the side view, the body gives a strong feeling of width, while the character line has a triangular cross-section extending rearward from the front to the rear bumper to express a feeling of speed and power.
The sporty rear view features a cut-off tail that creates a refreshing image, with oval, dual exhaust pipes and rear combination lights arranged in a pattern of four circular lights with ring-shaped illumination.
Opposing flat wipers provide the wiping performance needed to keep the large front windshield clear. Also, the simple and thin blade design effectively reduces wind noises.
Interior Design and Packaging
The wide body and long wheelbase create a relaxing, spacious cabin interior, while the large front windshield thrusts forward at an accentuated angle, combining with the positioning and angling of the glass area to create a spacious visual feel.
The Multiplex cockpit is designed as an advanced technology space in which the driver experiences a new enhanced level of security, for increased driving ease and pleasure. To improve both visibility and operability, the driver interface has been completely redesigned, with first priority given to the positioning of the displays and controls. The multi-tier meter design groups the most important components in easy-to-see, easy-to-reach locations.
The speedometer and other instruments that the driver frequently refers to have been carefully located in a newly designed Multiplex meter display positioned directly in front of the driver, high up and at some distance on the instrument panel. This reduces the angle that the driver must deflect his or her gaze downward while driving, minimizing eye movement, while at the same time making the display closer to the driver's field of vision, reducing the need to refocus. In addition to the speedometer, the upper tier includes the fuel gauge, coolant temperature gauge, and turn signal indicators. Limiting the number of gauges permits the use of a large, digital display for the speedometer for improved readability in a compact size that does not impinge upon the driver's field of vision. The lower tier houses a self-illuminating tachometer, odometer, and trip meter.
The small-diameter compact steering wheel provides a sportier image combined with improved instrument panel visibility. The shift lever also employs a sporty, compact design. Located right beside it within easy reach is the emergency brake lever, which adopts a Z-shaped configuration for a major reduction in overall length. The organ-type accelerator pedal ensures a linear pedal feel.
The newly developed front seats combine a wrap-around fit with stylish design. The seat cushions feature low-resistance urethane cushions and expanded spring pitch front and rear contribute significantly to vibration absorption. The springs have also been set lower in the rear to naturally draw the occupant snugly into the seat. Furthermore, the urethane backing on the seat covering has been made thicker for improved comfort and a firmer hold.
Increased overall body width results in a wider interior, while modifications to the shape of the front seatback and a floor with minimized central tunnel height ensures a more spacious rear seat area.
The trunk is a spacious 450 liters, with minimal intrusion of the wheel housings. The Civic is also equipped with *60:40-split rear seats, which fold down easily with the pull of a lever located inside the trunk.
*Those seeking the excitement of sporty, manual control, will enjoy the S range, which allows shifting with the simplicity of a Formula One racing machine via Honda's Sequential Sportshift. This sophisticated feature lets you shift up or down by simply pressing the (+) button or (-) button on the steering wheel spoke. It puts genuine exhilaration at your fingertip command.
* For 2.0S models only
Chassis and Body
The wide stance contributes to improved drivability and a smoother ride. To help provide more direct, linear handling feel, the positioning of the steering gearbox, the structure of the body and sub-frame, and the symmetry of the suspension have been comprehensively redesigned.
The strut front suspension provides outstanding space efficiency. A side-force canceling spring reduces shock absorber friction for improved ride comfort, while making for a more compact suspension. The rear suspension employs a compact, reactive-link, double-wishbone design. The shock absorber and spring, formerly a single unit, have been separated and positioned slightly behind the wheel center for improved tire contact and a more comfortable ride, while at the same time reducing road noise.
The body achieves an extremely high level of rigidity, with 35% greater torsional rigidity than the previous model. Dynamic rigidity has also been improved by achieving the correct balance of rigidity front and rear, and by strengthening seams throughout the vehicle. This achieves a high degree of handling stability, while also improving ride comfort. Other innovations include the use of light, strong, high-tensile steel in most of the body's major frame components, the use of tailored blank welds in key areas, and combining steel plates of varying thicknesses and materials for efficient strengthening.
Reduction of crankshaft knocking and high-precision control of ignition timing to limit high-frequency ignition noise during combustion are just two of the measures employed to reduce engine noise at its source The engine mounts are supplemented by torque rods to absorb longitudinal engine vibration. This considerably reduces the transmission of engine vibration and contributes to more linear handling.
The cabin area employs flat joints between the plates for the center pillars, rear wheel housings, and trunk area to reduce the number of holes and gaps, while the bottom portion of each pillar is insulated with urethane foam to reduce noise in the cabin interior. Light, high-performance sound insulation materials are also optimally positioned in the floor and central roof area to achieve high levels of noise reduction and weight reduction.
The Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system-which includes the Antilock Brake System (ABS), Traction Control System (TCS), and sideslip control-works in combination with the DBW electronic throttle control that optimizes engine torque to achieve precision handling.
The vehicle's crash compatibility body provides a high level of self-protection and also improves compatibility toward other vehicle. In a full-frontal collision, the upper frame and lower members distribute and absorb the energy of impact, diffusing it into the front pillar and floor. At the time of impact, the lower members prevent misalignment with the crash-absorbing members of the other vehicle, and together with the upper frame create a broadened surface with which to absorb the impact, significantly reducing cabin intrusion.
The vehicle is equipped with dual SRS airbags and Active Headrests, which utilize link mechanisms located at the back of the seats to move the headrests forward and support occupants' heads when the occupants are forced backward into their seats in the event of a rear-end collision. In addition to the link mechanism, which moves the headrest upward and tilts it forward into the appropriate position, an inertial stopper holds the headrest in position even after pressure is reduced, significantly reducing load on the neck area.
To view the All New Honda Civic, the public can visit its roadshow which starts from 15 to 19 March 2006 at the Ground Floor Center Court, Mid Valley Megamall from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.