Spy Shots

Spy Shots—Civic Hybrid Sedan: CR-Z Power, Better Batteries for 2012?

Civic Hybrid Sedan

During the Detroit Auto Show, Honda showed off a Civic sedan and Civic Coupe Si Coupe concept. The pros over at Brenda Priddy & Co. just spied another variant Honda wasn't talking about—the Hybrid sedan. The difference is that this time almost all the heavy camo has been removed.

The wheels and tires give away this sedan's true identity, says Priddy. The same Bridgestone Insignia SE200-02 low-rolling resistance tire found on the '10 Honda Civic Hybrid are also found on this prototype.

According to Priddy and her team, the ninth-generation Civic was set to debut in the summer of 2010 as a '11 model, but once Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations changed and the auto industry hit hard times in 2009, Honda had to rethink its approach. Rumors stated Honda originally wanted to make the Civic larger, but as you can see from the photos, the overall size of the '12 Civic will remain mostly unchanged.

While the camouflage is pretty heavy, a new grille and headlights are peaking out from the concealment. The front end looks more upright overall as well. The doors also have some fresh character lines.

The current Civic hybrid has a 1.3L i-VTEC four-cylinder, mated to electric motors. Priddy has heard that the Civic may move to the 1.5L-based hybrid powertrain setup also found in the CR-Z. This new Civic Hybrid may also be the first car in the lineup to receive the rumored, next-generation lithium ion batteries Honda has been working on.

Civic Hybrid Sedan
Photo Credit: Brian Williams/Brenda Priddy & Company