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First look Civic IMA - April 2003

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Review

Honda says it is to make a serious attempt at achieving market penetration with its next generation petrol-electric car which goes on sale in April.

As an integral part of the Civic range, the Civic IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) will be a key player in the fleet sector, says Honda product development manager Ian Hughes. “This is an important development. With this vehicle we intend to show that we can integrate this technology into any vehicle in our existing range,” he says.

Based on the Civic 4 door saloon, the Civic IMA uses a 1.3-litre I-DSI petrol engine coupled with a thin and lightweight electric motor. The electric motor acts as a generator during deceleration and braking, automatically recharging the car's battery pack - discreetly housed behind the rear seat.

There is a good boot as well as room for five passengers - a major improvement on the limited appeal of the two-seater Insight - a model which Hughes says was a “vital testbed” giving Honda a technological lead.

With a combined fuel consumption of around 57 mpg and a 120g/km CO2 rating, the highly specced vehicle will be at the “top end” of the Civic price range, adds Hughes.

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