Honda’s new Earth Dreams engine family will be making its debut in the refreshed Accord this fall before making its way to the rest of the carmaker’s vehicle line-up. The Earth Dreams engines boast of having direct injection and double-overhead cams and are 10 percent more fuel efficient than the Japanese carmaker’s current four-cylinders.
Honda will be adding Earth Dreams engines as each of its vehicles is redesigned, and in some situations will be available for mid-cycle revisions. Honda is also planning to endow its base four-cylinder engines with a twin-cam profile setup, variable valve timing and direct injection. There are speculations that the Japanese company may bring to the United States a 1.6-liter diesel capable of providing 220 pounds-feet of torque.
Honda is also placing much focus on continuously variable transmissions or CVTs. While performance models and off-road vehicles will still be fitted with geared transmissions, Honda’s mainstream cars will sport CVTs. The Japanese carmaker is also set to unveil its large-car hybrid powertrain system in 2013, which means more of its vehicles will have a hybrid option.
Under the 2012 Civic’s sleek skin lies the Honda pledge to its fundamentals of safety, enjoyable performance, ease, style, practicality, sturdiness, value, and elegance. The end result is a vehicle that's not only a smart decision when new, but one that can also provide long-term joy of ownership unique to this class of vehicle.
The Civic’s innovative safety features include the exclusive Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body to manage energy from front collisions and vehicle-to-vehicle impact correspondence, and a myriad of standard safety equipment that includes an array of airbags: two-rowed side curtain, dual-stage, multiple-threshold driver and front passenger, and driver and front passenger side, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), anti-lock brake system (ABS) with Brake Assist, and new Motion Adaptive Electric Power steering to help drivers steer in the best direction to avoid oversteering or understeering.
Crash tests conducted internally indicate that the new Civic should earn the best marks in the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program and be named as the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) top safety pick.
Each Civic model is engineered to be a fun drive, with a strut front MacPherson suspension, multi-linked rear suspension, and front and rear stabiliser bars. Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS) enhances response to steering at slow speeds while providing the driver with an excellent feel when going faster. Also, the EPS does not allow parasitic loss of engine power typical with conventional hydraulic boosted steering. This improves the delivery of power as well as fuel economy.