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Powertrain and Suspension Rumors on '06 Civic
 Date: August 26, 2004 15:38
 Submitted by:  notyper
 Source: Anonymous
 Credibility Rating: 7


A reliable source tells us that the 06 Civic platform is set for some significant changes.

While the famed Honda double wishbone front suspension will not return (we're hearing this from enough sources in the US and abroad now to think its probably true), the strut setup will be significantly modified to improve handling and reduce bump steer. We hear this means a big change in the steering rack setup. Supposedly the rear suspension will be modified as well, although less is known on what will happen there.

On the powertrain front, we're hearing that the Civic lineup will incorporate direct injection. Does this mean we'll be seeing a variant of the current 2.0 DOHC i-VTEC I engine from the JDM Stream? It sure sounds like it to us. The i-VTEC I engine is essentially a high fuel economy version of the K-series, which resembles a K20A3 in terms of power production (150-160 hp), but returns a 10-15% gain in fuel economy. The Civic may incorporate some different variants on this engine for sport and economy oriented model trims.

Whether this means the D-series disappears is unknown to us at this point, but it seems at least a reasonable possibility. With the importation of the Fit/Jazz on the horizon (with L-series i-DSI engines), the Civic can move upstream, as many TOV members have predicted, and the need for a sub-2.0 liter engine diminishes. Furthermore, the incorporation of direct injection on the Civic fits with the model line's history of being very clean and green. Honda has rarely compromised fuel economy for performance (hence VTEC and its ilk) and such a compromise would be even more out of character with the Civic.

Incorporating the i-VTEC I engine line into the new Civic would provide Honda with a definite leg up on the competition. The model would be positioned as equivalent in power to its competition (Focus PZEV, Mazda3 2.3, etc. all in the 150-160 hp range) while offering significant fuel economy benefits (the Mazda3 2.3 is only rated at 25/32 on the EPA cycle).

Some of this is news I know Honda fans want to hear, while other bits (the retention of struts) are not. As a powertrain guy, I love to hear about improvements in power and economy, so I'm more optimistic now than ever before about the 06 Civic.
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