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  TOV News > Honda steeped in Green for the long haul > > Re: Honda Civic model cycle delay reported...

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jero
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Honda Civic model cycle delay reported... [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2009 10:04
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... and "everything civic based will likely be delayed as well" with a promise of smaller and lighter. The CEO is certainly throwing a wrench in the machine, time will tell if the call is correct, or the competition will just get free time to catch up.

The new Civic was expected to bow sometime next year, but that deadline has undoubtedly been delayed. “The team is struggling. We are injecting more manpower to meet our target,” Ito said of the Civic program.


http://www.leftlanenews.com/next-gen-honda-civic-to-go-smaller-lighter.html

A77
Profile for A77
Re: Honda Civic model cycle delay reported... [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2009 11:41
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So they are assuming smaller but with more space than the existing generation. You can only get more space by extending the wheelbase and/or increasing the height. Otherwise wheel arch intrusion wrecks effective comfort. If you have a longer wheelbase the only way to reduce length is to reduce overhangs - easy enough on the back, though this may compromise luggage capacity, but darned difficult up front with FWD. More height means more weight, a higher center of gravity and stiffer suspension to compensate.....You can shrink the space taken for suspension components but that also will almost certainly mess things up handling and ride wise. Short of Citroen's hydropnuematic stuff which we are not going to see! I'll be interested to see if they put the fuel tank under the seats like the Fit. You can then make it shorter and hence lighter but there has to be some height increase. Maybe a dual fuel tank system - a shallow one under the front seats and another in series squeezed in elsewhere. Smaller also brings more safety challenges.

The most space efficient potential is offered by the Clarity and its central fuel cell...but that ain't gonna happen either.

Dren
Profile for Dren
Re: Honda Civic model cycle delay reported... [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2009 13:02
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I see the slug shape of the Civic becoming more egg shapped with a hatch rather than a trunk, sort of like the 5 door hatch in Europe.
Cory
Profile for Cory
Re: Honda Civic model cycle delay reported... [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2009 17:58
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I would LOVE that.
JMU R1
Profile for JMU R1
Re: Honda Civic model cycle delay reported... [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2009 18:38
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This late in the design cycle one has to wonder if this is a wise use of resources. Granted, I think it would be a bit silly for the Civic to get even bigger in the next generation but I woinder if it was such a dire issue that it merited this response.

I am hoping against hope we'll at least get double-wishbones again like Fukui mentioned a few years ago but alas I am not holding my breath.

bluefz22
Profile for bluefz22
Re: Honda Civic model cycle delay reported... [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2009 20:19
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I can see Honda's problem. They started designing the upcoming generation of cars before gas prices went up. If gas prices stay low,Americans want bigger cars;if gas prices go up Americans want more efficient cars. It's a dice roll for these automakers and don't want to "roll them bones."
owequitit
Profile for owequitit
Re: Honda Civic model cycle delay reported... [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2009 21:40
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A77 wrote:
So they are assuming smaller but with more space than the existing generation. You can only get more space by extending the wheelbase and/or increasing the height. Otherwise wheel arch intrusion wrecks effective comfort. If you have a longer wheelbase the only way to reduce length is to reduce overhangs - easy enough on the back, though this may compromise luggage capacity, but darned difficult up front with FWD. More height means more weight, a higher center of gravity and stiffer suspension to compensate.....You can shrink the space taken for suspension components but that also will almost certainly mess things up handling and ride wise. Short of Citroen's hydropnuematic stuff which we are not going to see! I'll be interested to see if they put the fuel tank under the seats like the Fit. You can then make it shorter and hence lighter but there has to be some height increase. Maybe a dual fuel tank system - a shallow one under the front seats and another in series squeezed in elsewhere. Smaller also brings more safety challenges.

The most space efficient potential is offered by the Clarity and its central fuel cell...but that ain't gonna happen either.




It isn't that hard.

The Civic doesn't use as much high strength steel. With more HSS and other materials in certain areas, they will be able to get away with slightly less overhang.

Also, the gas tank is already under the seat.

You also neglect the effect shape has on room. One reason it seems harder and harder for companies to keep similar space to older cars is partly a result of the fact they now have "swoopy" shapes that all reduce capacity. Couple that with increase crash requirements, and you have an uphill battle.

owequitit
Profile for owequitit
Re: Honda Civic model cycle delay reported... [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2009 21:45
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Oh, yeah and in relation to the original link. Read that yesterday. Nice try on the spin, but that isn't what he said. It was speculation on the part of the author.

Ito simply said they are struggling and assiging more people to it. Aren't you gonna be pissed if they still make the launch deadline?

jero
Profile for jero
Re: Honda Civic model cycle delay reported... [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2009 23:03
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why would I be pissed? I can't wait to see the net civic. The sooner the better.
owequitit
Profile for owequitit
Re: Honda Civic model cycle delay reported... [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-28-2009 00:06
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Why, so you'll have something new to bash for awhile?

There is nothing wrong with the current Civic.

jero
Profile for jero
Re: Honda Civic model cycle delay reported... [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-28-2009 09:15
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Of course there isn't :)
longhorn
Profile for longhorn
Re: Honda Civic model cycle delay reported... [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-28-2009 09:48
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owequitit wrote:
Oh, yeah and in relation to the original link. Read that yesterday. Nice try on the spin, but that isn't what he said. It was speculation on the part of the author.

Ito simply said they are struggling and assiging more people to it. Aren't you gonna be pissed if they still make the launch deadline?



Owe, it isn't spin, even Jeff put the rumor of the delay this summer in the news section. This article just explains why this rumor would exist, Honda is changing the product midstream in the R&D phase.

A77
Profile for A77
Re: Honda Civic model cycle delay reported... [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-28-2009 10:23
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owequitit wrote:

It isn't that hard.

The Civic doesn't use as much high strength steel. With more HSS and other materials in certain areas, they will be able to get away with slightly less overhang.

Also, the gas tank is already under the seat.

You also neglect the effect shape has on room. One reason it seems harder and harder for companies to keep similar space to older cars is partly a result of the fact they now have "swoopy" shapes that all reduce capacity. Couple that with increase crash requirements, and you have an uphill battle.


I should have clarified - gas tank under the front seats, not the back where it is now. Front overhang is very hard to reduce given current crash test requirements. Remember the new Fit had to have its overhang increased in order to meet NA rules. It has lots of HSS but is heavier than its predecessor (OK it has ACE and is slightly bigger outside too).

Does the Civic's swoopiness really compromise interior space? You'd only gain space in it with the same wheelbase by increasing height. The current civic is the same height as the boxier earlier generation and taller than any other previous civic.

It is a daunting task for Honda to come up with a smaller, lighter but equally spacious and safe new civic.

owequitit
Profile for owequitit
Re: Honda Civic model cycle delay reported... [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-28-2009 19:42
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longhorn wrote:
owequitit wrote:
Oh, yeah and in relation to the original link. Read that yesterday. Nice try on the spin, but that isn't what he said. It was speculation on the part of the author.

Ito simply said they are struggling and assiging more people to it. Aren't you gonna be pissed if they still make the launch deadline?



Owe, it isn't spin, even Jeff put the rumor of the delay this summer in the news section. This article just explains why this rumor would exist, Honda is changing the product midstream in the R&D phase.



Actually, yes it was. It was presented in a manner by the OP to insinuate the delay as fact, and presented to look like Ito himself said it. If you read the article, that is not at all the case. 95% of the time, "spin" is mild and almost undetectable if you aren't paying attention, or don't read the original article.

1) All Ito said is that they made the decision to make the Civic smaller, even though it had an adverse impact on the development. He then went on to say that they were assigning more engineers to the project because the change in direction left the current team "struggling" with the task.

2) The rest of his inferred statement was not backed up by Ito, confirmed by anyone, or verfied. It was a statement by the author of the article that he blended together to make it appear as though a delay would be certain, because Ito basically confirmed it. He tried to make it appear that it is FACT, when in fact it is speculation on the part of the author, good or not.

It is possible that the car will be delayed, however it is also likely that the engineering team is going to get manpower from all of the recently cancelled projects, all of which would serve to make a regular timeline much more feasible.

owequitit
Profile for owequitit
Re: Honda Civic model cycle delay reported... [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-28-2009 20:34
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I should have clarified - gas tank under the front seats, not the back where it is now. Front overhang is very hard to reduce given current crash test requirements. Remember the new Fit had to have its overhang increased in order to meet NA rules. It has lots of HSS but is heavier than its predecessor (OK it has ACE and is slightly bigger outside too).


There is absolutely no reason to put it under the front seats. It is already occupying the empty space under the rear seats, and between the suspension points. It would not appreciably increase trunk space or interior capacity to move it, which is why it was located there in the first place, and as it was with pretty much every other car of similar design. The only reason it was beneficial in the Fit is because it allowed them to have the space to do the "magic" seat. Unless there is a Civic wagon, there would probably be no reason to do it, and the Fit is tall anyway, so it was a useful compromise. In the Civic, it is likely to have more packaging challenges than it was worth.

Overhang is hard to reduce, but not impossible. It is really quite simple. You can either give the intrusion more space to dissipate energy, or you can dissipate it faster, or a combination of the two. HSS is beneficial because it dissipates the energy faster, or provides equal strength with less weight. Since it is all about "space" a relocation of space will help this tremendously. Take the new A4 for instance. Look at what a profound effect a few inches had on the front overhang of the new car versus the old. The weight is still primarily forward, and the axle line is still behind most of the engine mass, but it has less overhang. I am not saying Honda can just shift the powertrain around, but it IS possible. Also, if Honda were to turn the engine 180* and put the differential in front of the engine, instead of behind it. That could save some room because it would put the powertrain further behind, or less in front of the wheels. I am sure there are structural and dynamic challenges to that, or they would have already done it, but it is possible to save overhang. Of course it would also them compete for space with the interior.

The current Civic is about 50% high strength steel. They increased HSS content by 18% over the previous Civic. Even if they only increase it in strategic areas, and only by a few % points, the combination of lighter material and size reduction could have a very tangible benefit. It is expected that they will continue to increase it. I was just reading an article the other day that talked about HSS. It mentioned how it is now basically competing with aluminum for car $, and how even tempering it differently can have a HUGE impact on weight and cost, so it is still an evolving technology.

For instance, the "body-in white" on the current TL was something like 20lbs lighter than the last TL, despite the additional size, due the increased use of HSS. 20lbs might not seem like much, but that is 20lbs that can be allocated somewhere else with no weight gain. Be it feature content, crash strength, battery packs, etc. Had Acura actually REDUCED the size of that TL, then it is quite likely they would have seen something significantly larger in weight savings. Then you have the OTHER tangible benefit that a smaller structure needs less material to achieve the same rigidity, and you may find some more incremental savings. We haven't even gotten into exotic materials yet, aluminum or any other lighter weight metals. Just plain old high tech steel.

http://www.makeitmetal.com/resources/features/SoMuchInfoSP07.html

http://corporate.honda.com/press/article.aspx?id=4678

http://www.roadandtrack.com/article.asp?section_id=10&article_id=6989

http://corporate.honda.com/press/article.aspx?id=4109

According to the Honda release on the Accord, the increase in HSS was about 9%. I can tell you from experience that the tangible benefits of this (slimmer pillars) may have had a negligible effect on actual interior space, but it had a HUGE effect in the perceived spaciousness of the car compared to the previous generation, both of which we own/have owned. That goes a long way toward making customers more accepting of smaller cars, because it allows them to FEEL like the car is more spacious. It is a tangible and important psychological effect. Also, the current Civic still has quite prominent structural pillars. I don't know how much Honda can improve, but based on the Accord, there is definitely room.

Does the Civic's swoopiness really compromise interior space? You'd only gain space in it with the same wheelbase by increasing height. The current civic is the same height as the boxier earlier generation and taller than any other previous civic.


It depends. If you measure it in relation to exterior size, then yes it does.

For instance, if you don't want to take my word for it, you can go to a current Civic, and take a tape measure to the back. Measure the length of the curvature in the rear bumper. If Honda were to make that a flat plane, it would easily remove 2-3" total off of the car's overall length, and would have ZERO effect on any other dimension on the car. Now, I am NOT saying that Honda should forego styling, nor am I saying all cars should be square boxes. But I promise that when most people look at the "dimensions" of a car, they look at the length and say, "oh, it is 3" shorter or longer, but has the same interior space." It seems like it would be negligible, but in the grand scheme of the way people measure and rate cars it is prophetic.

As for wheelbase, the Civic actually already has a really good wheelbase to length ratio for a FWD car, but space can be worked around in relation to the wheelbase to a small degree. There is also nothing that says they can't increase the wheelbase AND decrease the overall length. Car companies have been doing it with increasing frequency lately.

The fact also remains that a box is the most efficient use of space, because the only space wasted between the exterior and interior dimensions is that required to create the box. In addition to odd angles and shapes being less efficient in terms of useable space, you run into structural complications of load paths and angles, etc. A good example of this is every opening on that car. Each door, each window, each hood, trunk, moonroof etc. all weakens the structure by creating an unreinforced hole. You can certainly work around it, but how do you do it? You add material elsewhere to compensate for the loss in rigidity at the hole, which in turn adds weight somewhere, and reduces space. A good example is a coupe versus a sedan. Usually, a sedan will almost always be more structurally rigid, because the B pillar makes the hole where the door is smaller. Even though there are twice as many doors, that big structural beam results in a net gain of rigidity.

While Honda can't work around the openings, every piece of additional structure you add because of a curvaceous design, or more likely, every little bit of space you use less efficiently because of a curvaceous design, you lose a little bit of interior room compared to how big the car is outside.

Tumblehome is another great example of this. It makes the car LOOK better, but it also reduces the interior size of the vehicle at the same time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tumblehome

The point is that there are a billion little variables that Honda can use to both incrementally increase size relative to exterior package, and reduce weight. To what extent they will go, I don't know. I am NOT saying they should create a lifeless box, but the fact is that it WOULD be more efficient in terms of space. They can probably find ways to need less crush space, or to do it without compromising crush space. But the trend wasn't for smaller more efficient vehicles, it was for bigger, larger, more spacious. As such the cars gained weight. With a reduction in weight, they will probably lose weight at least as fast, because in many cases, smart engineering to compensate for the additional size was actually reducing the amount of weight gain relative to size gain. While an inch here or there added a hundred pounds or so, so will removing it back out. And, it might even same more than that if they keep integrating higher tech materials.

What happens if they start using more aluminum and magnesium or their alloys? What about high strength plastics and composites? Like I said, we haven't even touched that area yet.

It is a daunting task for Honda to come up with a smaller, lighter but equally spacious and safe new civic.


Why would it be any more daunting for Honda than anyone else? Everyone else has promises of weight savings with reduced size, and everyone here uses that to "prove" Honda is inferior to the competition. And yet, I am to believe they operate under different laws of physics, especially since they have been one of the big early adopters of this technology?


EggLaNd'S BeSt
Profile for EggLaNd'S BeSt
Re: Honda Civic model cycle delay reported... [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-28-2009 21:39
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"Expanded Use of High-Tensile Steel
The 2002 Civic Si makes extensive use of lightweight and high-tensile strength steel. About 57 percent of the body structure, by weight, including the important mid-floor cross members and floor gussets, are made of high-tensile steel."

http://corporate.honda.com/press/article.aspx?id=2001102640718

When I drive cars other than my EP3,they feel like I'm driving convertibles in comparison.

Nick GravesX
Profile for Nick GravesX
Re: Honda Civic model cycle delay reported... [View News Item]    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-29-2009 07:07
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Owe is spot on again!

Gooogle "FIAT Uno" if you want to see how practical cars used to be: A roomy box with carefully-rounded and neatly styled bits so it's not like a box at all.

A LOT of this oversizing of cars is due to 1950's Detroit-style overstyling and huuuge wheels. It's why I despise most modern cars. They could be so much better.


 
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