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This was posted to the EVList ( <http://www.madkatz.com/ev/evlist.html> )... thaught it would be of interest to some of you.


Honda Civic Hybrid Earns 51 MPG EPA Highway Rating;
Five-Speed Model Priced at $19,550
TORRANCE, Calif., March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The all-new 2003
Honda Civic Hybrid, the first mainstream vehicle sold in
North America equipped with a gasoline-electric hybrid
powertrain, has earned EPA city/highway fuel economy ratings
of 46/51 mpg with a 5-speed manual transmission. It will
have a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of
$19,550, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. announced today.

Civic Hybrid models will begin reaching dealerships the week
of March 25. The Civic Hybrid will also be available with a
continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), with a
MSRP of $20,550. The Hybrid CVT has earned EPA City/Highway
ratings of 48/47 mpg. Both models will have a range of more
than 600 miles. The Civic Hybrid will be available at all
Honda dealerships nationwide and sales are expected to
average about 2,000 vehicles a month.

"The Civic is one of the cornerstones of the Honda brand and
adding a hybrid to the Civic lineup is an example of the
faith and confidence we have in the future of hybrid
technology," said Tom Elliott, American Honda executive vice
president. "Hybrid technology is ready for prime time."

The 2003 Civic Hybrid uses Honda's innovative Integrated
Motor Assist (IMA) technology, employing a 1.3-liter i-DSI,
4-cylinder gasoline engine coupled with a high output
electric motor to provide excellent performance and fuel
efficiency. The system's compact nickel metal hydride
battery module is automatically recharged during braking and
deceleration. As a result, the Civic Hybrid never needs to
be plugged in.

The hybrid system provides up to 93 horsepower and 116 lb-ft
of torque with the electric motor "assist." Fuel economy is
improved by up to 30 percent compared to other Civic sedans.
All this is achieved by the hybrid powertrain while still
meeting the stringent Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV)
standards.

The Civic Hybrid comes equipped with a long list of standard
features including power windows, door locks and mirrors;
cruise control; Immobilizer anti-theft device; dual stage,
dual-threshold driver and front passenger air bags; and a
tilt steering wheel.

Standard features unique to the 2003 Civic Hybrid include:

-- Second generation Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid
system
-- 1.3-liter i-DSI 4-cylinder engine with two spark plugs
per cylinder
-- Four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake
Distribution
-- Standard side air bags
-- Alloy wheels
-- AM/FM/CD player
-- Automatic climate control air conditioning
-- Electric Power Steering (EPS)
-- Unique front and rear aerodynamic styling
-- Digital and analog instrument gauge cluster with IMA
system display, daytime and nighttime mode, and vehicle
system performance meters
-- Upgraded interior with open head front restraints

The Civic Hybrid will be Honda's second hybrid model,
following the introduction in 1999 of the two-passenger
Insight, the first hybrid sold in America and currently the
most fuel-efficient vehicle in the United States.

For more media information and high-resolution image
downloads, please visit <http://www.hondanews.com> . Consumer
information regarding American Honda is available at
<http://www.honda.com> .

SOURCE American Honda Motor Co. CO: American Honda Motor
Co. ST: California IN: AUT ENV SU: 03/20/2002 12:29 EST
...
http://www.prnewswire.com/ [email protected]
(c)PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Fax# 415-543-3555,
Tel# 415-543-7800, 71 Stevenson, Suite 1120, SF, CA 94105 USA

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"The all-new 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid, the first mainstream vehicle sold in
North America equipped with a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain,"

Huh? Why wouldn't the Prius be considered "mainstream?"

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The Prius is probally not considered "mainstream" because it was not a pre-existing model from toyota, it was created new with a hybrid drivetrain. The Civic, on the other hand, has been around for a long time before adding a hybrid option making it "mainstream"

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