Honda Civic IMA: Electra

Buying a hybrid car comes with conflicting feelings, dominated by dissatisfaction with the large upfront investment that far exceeds the price of the equivalent petrol option.


For most people, hybrids are nowadays an interesting but expensive exotic toy with little practical value. Few question the value of technological investments in hybrid systems and realize that, albeit in part, they provide a solution to the problem of melting oil reserves and the thickening of the atmosphere in large cities.

The Civic Hybrid showcases its idea of ​​saving fuel for almost every red light on its way - it quietly shuts off the engine without waiting for a driver's advice. What a logical and natural act against the background of the smoking crowd around! The senseless idling of the engine is a clear indicator of the imperfection of modern cars, because in this mode the processes in internal combustion engines are extremely ineffective, and the level of harmful emissions against the background of zero operation is insanely high ...


To reduce weight, the aluminum cylinder block has a thin-walled cylinder design and friction between the piston and cylinder is reduced through a special two-stage surface grinding process. Piston rings, in turn, are designed to apply minimal pressure to the walls, and the surface of the lightweight aluminum pistons reduces friction through microscopic ridges on the walls, helping to better retain the oil layer. Constructors Honda They did not even hesitate to change the general design of the engine - in the Civic Hybrid, the protrusion of the cylinder axis does not cross the crankshaft axis, but is deliberately shifted to the side. According to calculations, this significantly reduces the lateral pressure of the piston on the cylinder wall (and, consequently, frictional losses), and the effect is most pronounced at the beginning of the stroke, when the gases exert the strongest pressure on the piston. The steel connecting rods have a light forged construction and special surface treatment for added strength.

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The fourth generation IMA electrical system is the most powerful and efficient of its kind.

It consists of a compact brushless electric motor installed between the motor and CVT transmission and an Intelliegent Power Unit battery system with high capacity NiMH batteries. The motor uses a more efficient permanent magnet, and the electromagnetic part is made of flat metal wires, resulting in a more compact design.

On hard start and acceleration, several stripes appear in the "ASST" area of ​​the small electronic indicator on the dashboard, which means that the electric motor is providing intensive assistance to the main engine. I can't say that I was particularly impressed with the thrust of the entire powertrain, but I'm sure that the small 1,3-liter engine is unlikely to achieve such acceleration on its own. With a more careful approach to the accelerator pedal, the system uses only the internal combustion engine, and the electric motor goes into a reduced resistance mode. When the car reaches a certain (relatively low) speed and no longer accelerates, it switches to all-electric mode and draws energy from the batteries if they are well charged. All valves in the main engine are closed at this time to reduce losses. We have already mentioned that during acceleration, the system uses both engines, and the valves switch to high or low load depending on its intensity. Only the internal combustion engine operates on the track, and when the speed decreases, the valves close simultaneously with the transition of the electric motor to regenerative mode - this process is displayed on the display by the appearance of several stripes in the "CHRG" zone.

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