As part of a business update focusing on the U.S., Honda has confirmed that hybrid versions of its Civic compact car family will be arriving in the U.S. in calendar year 2024—potentially earmarking it for the 2024 model year.
The U.S. Civic Hybrid, which was confirmed with the discontinuation of the Insight hybrid sedan back in April, but with no exact timeline, will receive excellent fuel economy ratings and offer great driving dynamics, according to Mamadou Diallo, American Honda Motor VP for sales, in a presentation Wednesday.
The models to beat in fuel economy would be the Toyota Corolla Hybrid and Hyundai Elantra Hybrid, both of which earn an EPA-rated 50 mpg combined for 2023.
Honda says that the arrival of the Civic Hybrid is part of its strategy to increase hybrid sales through its core models as a bridge to “full electrified vehicles.” It’s already aiming to boost the CR-V Hybrid and Accord Hybrid to 50% of the sales mix, so it’s likely the brand may aim for that with the Civic.
Same future, different path
Both Honda and Acura are now aiming toward a future primarily of battery electric vehicles, but between Honda and its luxury brand Acura, there’s a distinction to parse in terms of how rapidly they plan to embrace them.
Honda doesn’t plan to focus on plug-in hybrids “in the near term,” although the brand appears to be dropping hints that they may arrive later in the decade, in addition to a growing family of EVs—some of them developed with GM.
Diallo said flat-out that hybrids and plug-in hybrids aren’t coming for Acura; instead it will shift to battery electric models far faster.
“They’re bypassing it with a much more accelerated cadence towards electrification,” he said.
While some traditional luxury performance brands like Mercedes’ AMG unit have looked to performance plug-in hybrid systems to take track times to new heights, Acura will instead focus on performance EVs. The upcoming ZDX EV, as the brand has announced, will have a Type S performance variant.
The Honda brand also hasn’t closed the door on hydrogen fuel cells in passenger vehicles. As it announced last November, it will start making a CR-V Fuel Cell—the first such hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle that also has some plug-in hybrid capability—in Ohio in 2024.
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