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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
ON THE TRACK: 2006 Honda Civic to Debut
January 14, 2005

An all-new 2006 Honda Civic is waiting in the wings to make a debut. The 2006 Civic comes with variable valve timing lifts derived from the Formula 1 technology enabling small engines to churn extremely high horsepower and torque output for mass produced cars.

Honda pioneered in this technology, but other car manufacturers managed to overtake.

Honda Civic that was once the benchmark in the compact car segment is now being threatened by new and strong contingents from Japan like the Mazda 3, Toyota Altis and the EVO inspired Mitsubishi Lancer. In reviving interest and spotlight on the Civic, Honda took taunting and discordant opinions from current Civic owners and die-hards and then went back to the drawing board.

That is, back to the drawing board and in closed doors. What entailed was a flurry of rehashing and drafting and the new design was a hatchback version. The new design was supposed to be hushed but photos leaked and the hatchback Honda Civic showed that it is boldly designed and sportier.

In 1993, Honda ushered the Civic ESI and in 1996, Honda pulled in the Civic VTI. Both of which were awarded the most coveted Japanese Car of the Year.

The current model with no awards under its belt could be a disappointment to its predecessors in design and driving dynamics.

Double wishbones.

The Honda Civic is made popular by its curvaceous and sporty design, driver-friendly cockpit and double wishbone suspensions on all its four wheels. Honda Civic ESI and VTI have suspension set up that are more agile providing good steering feedback.

Apparently in a move to cut costs, what was once a sporty compact sedan especially when pushed to its limits is now more sedate and leisurely because it is fitted with McPherson struts in the front.

If it is to do battle with the likes of the Mazda3, Toyota Altis, the up-coming Sentra and Mitsubishi Lancer, the all new Civic, may have double wishbones all around. Even then, double wishbones suspensions have its drawbacks.

It may be agile and sporty but it cannot isolate cabin and passengers from road noise and cannot tackle deep potholes as a McPherson Strut set-up. In a sense, it ruins its sporty nature.

But Honda Civic diehards have always been accustomed to this driving orientation. A car with a dual personality, it can be a perfect family and executive saloon for busy weekdays and a perfect driver’s car for that suppressed boy racer instinct.

The Civic is a blend of great design, top-notch engineering and great driving dynamics. Until it is unveiled at the Geneva motor show in September, it remains a quite silhouette on the wings.
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