Fuel efficiency and less pollution is all the rage these days with cars. Honda brings us their updated IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) system to the 2006 Civic Hybrid.

The Hybrid i-VTEC system provides three stages of valve timing which are the low-rpm, high-rpm and cylinder idle mode. The IMA system is an improved version over the previous version, with battery output increased by 30% while retaining the same size. The electric motor employs coils with high-density windings and high-performance magnets to attain that power. The battery is recharged using regenerative hydraulic braking.

Honda says the system will perform equivalent to a 1.8 litre pure gasoline engine. Impressive.

Modes of operation:

  1. Vehicle stationary – The engine is turned off and fuel consumption is zero.
  2. Startup and acceleration – The engine operates in low-speed valve timing mode with motor assist.
  3. Rapid acceleration – The engine operates in high-speed valve timing mode with motor assist.
  4. Low-speed cruising – The valves of all four of the engine’s cylinders can be closed and combustion halted, the electric motor alone can power the vehicle.
  5. Gentle acceleration and high-speed cruising – The engine operating in low-speed valve timing mode powers the vehicle.
  6. Deceleration – The valves of all four of the engine’s cylinders are closed and combustion halted. The motor recovers a significant portion of the energy normally lost during deceleration and stores it in the battery.

Engine Specifications:

  1. Motor Assist – water-cooled inline 4 cylinder, 1,339cc. Max output – 95hp at 6000rpm, 119Nm torque at 4500rpm.
  2. Electric Motor – AC synchronous drive ultra-thin DC brushless motor rated at 158 volts. Max output is 20hp at 2000rpm, 140Nm torque at 0-1160rpm.
  3. Combined output – 115hp at 6000rpm, 183Nm torque at 2500rpm.

BTW in case you didn’t know, our Royal Malaysia Police force has 2 previous generation Honda Civic Hybrids in their fleet. This is Honda’s attack on the Toyota Prius’s reign in the hybrid market.

Source: American Honda Motor Company Press Release