Top Honda executives think diesel engines are on the way out, and to keep the Civic a best-selling global vehicle are considering gasoline hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions.
The tenth-generation 2017 Civic has just arrived, and it was engineered from the beginning to accept gasoline, diesel, hybrid and gasoline plug-in hybrid powertrains, as well as hydrogen.
Honda’s Chief Operating Officer, Katsushi Inoue, told British publication Autoexpress the company is looking at adding a hybrid model by the end of the decade to compete with competitors like the Toyota Prius and the soon-to-arrive Hyundai Ioniq.
“After the [Volkswagen] emissions scandal, we have to think about it,” Inoue-san said.
In 2012 Honda developed three hybrid systems, one each for small, midsize and full size vehicles, so producing Civic hybrid models should be an easy task.
The Civic is Honda’s biggest global seller and in a separate conversation with Autoexpress, Civic development leader Mitsuru Kariya said, “We sell 600,000 units per year – so if the Civic fails, Honda will fail.”
He said the new Civic platform is flexible and adaptable to future hybrid versions.
“The evolutionary steps from a diesel engine are now more or less limited, so we are shifting resources from diesel to electrification. A hydrogen fuel cell is not in our plan for the moment,” he concluded.