While non-GM hybrids are selling as fast as companies can build them here in the U.S., buyers in India have yet to be able to sample the dual drive vehicles. That's all about to change as Honda's Indian venture, Honda Siel Cars India, is about to become the first company to offer a hybrid car in that market. HSCI will shortly start importing the Japanese-built Civic hybrid for sale in the sub-continent. The Civic hybrid for India gets the same powertrain as everywhere else, including a 1.3L four cylinder with the i-VTEC variable valve timing system and the integrated motor assist (IMA) system. The IMA has an electric motor that can't really drive the vehicle independently of the engine. When driving at a moderate, constant speed, the fuel can be shutoff to all four cylinders allowing the motor to propel the car while still turning the engine over. No information is available yet on pricing in India.
Honda Siel Cars India launches India first hybrid Car
- the Civic Hybrid -
NEW DELHI, India, June 18, 2008– In a pioneering move, Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI), leading manufacturer of premium cars in India, launched India's first hybrid car – the globally acclaimed Civic Hybrid.
In line with Honda's long-term commitment to the development of advanced and environmentally-friendly technologies that do not compromise on driving pleasure, the Civic Hybrid offers a rare combination of being environmentally friendly, fuel efficient and also having a high fun-to-drive quotient.
The launch of the Civic Hybrid is the fulfillment of yet another commitment HSCI made to its customers – of bringing in latest technologies and models from Honda's global line-up. It also seeks to strengthen HSCI's efforts towards the protection of the environment and conservation of energy sources.
The Honda Civic Hybrid System features a 3-stage i-VTEC + IMA that employs Honda's 1.3L i-VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) engine to provide three stages of valve timing (low-speed, high-speed, and cylinder idle mode), combined with a compact and efficient electric motor, Honda's IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) system. Together with highly efficient CVT transmission, the system provides nearly 47% enhanced fuel efficiency than a regular 1.8L Civic AT without compromising on driving performance.
The Civic Hybrid can deactivate all four of its cylinders and operate using only the electric motor in certain steady-state cruising situations.
In addition, the internal combustion engine is switched off when car comes to a stop while the brake pedal is pressed. These factors contribute greatly to the reduction of fuel consumption and emissions, particularly in city traffic.
Apart from sleek, aerodynamic exteriors and new-age luxurious interiors, Honda Civic Hybrid offers the best in safety technology, including Active Headrest and four SRS Airbags (driver, assistant and side air bags), besides other safety features.
The Civic Hybrid will be imported from Japan as a completely built unit and will be available in two colours - exclusive Premium White Pearl and Alabaster Silver.
Presenting the new Civic Hybrid, Masahiro Takedagawa, President and CEO, Honda Siel Cars India Ltd. said, "I am proud to unveil Honda's globally acclaimed and popular Civic Hybrid in India. In launching this car, our objective is not to get large volumes or to make a statement. Our objective is to give an opportunity to Indian customers to experience this new technology. And they can do that at any of our dealerships across India."