It took some time for the green movement to reach our shores, and as a matter of fact it hasn’t really caught up but leading the way towards a greener Malaysia is Honda with their Civic Hybrid. It is essentially a blend of innovative technology and environmental consciousness and is hailed as the most economical and environmentally friendly civic to date.

The thing that differentiates this Civic from all the other petrol guzzling versions is the implementation of the 4th generation Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system. It is Honda’s most powerful and efficient Hybrid development to date. The IMA system consists of an ultra thin DC brushless electric motor and it’s mounted between the gasoline engine and the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), and an Intelligent Power Unit (IPU) that stores electric power in a compact battery box and controls the flow of electricity to and from the electric motor.

Power lost during various stages of the driving cycle is stored up in the rear-mounted compact battery and pushed back to the electric motor, resulting in increased driving performance, reduced emission and enhanced fuel consumption.

The Hybrid system consists of an electric motor installed between the engine and the transmission. It engages as you accelerate or go uphill, boosting engine power until you reach cruising speed. The motor then adds necessary additional power to accelerate. However, at low speed, the car runs on power from the motor alone. As you raise the acceleration, the engine switches to a higher power output and the motor provides a stronger, powerful acceleration. When it decelerates, the IMA battery will be in recharge mode.

Meanwhile, all the electric power created by the electric motor will be stored in a compact battery box that is called the Intelligent Power Unit. It controls the electricity to and from the electric motor.

So the Civic Hybrid is a fuel saver and is kind to the pocket but at RM162,800, it’ll hardly be the Civic of choice for potential buyers, too far away from the petrol version Civic and too close to the Type-R, suddenly going green sounds like a horrible idea. But then again, with petrol prices sky rocketing and the Type-R just a tad too hardcore for the Hybrid market not mentioning the fact that it probably guzzles twice or thrice as much fuel as the Hybrid, the Hybrid doesn’t seem too bad after all. Forking out a large sum at once may be steep, but the savings you gain over a period of time will have you wondering why didn’t they think of this in the first place?

We get a chance to meet the Chief Engineer for Hybrid Development, Mr Yoshio Yamamoto and asked, “Will there be a Civic Hybrid Type-R? “. Watch this space.