‘Occupants safe in the new Honda Civic’
By Moses Akaigwe
Friday February 10, 2012
• The Ford focus winners, Meshioye and Mpi with her daughter
Throughout the development of the new (2012) Honda Civic, high importance was placed on safety for occupants and other road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.
“Honda has a high tech crash test facility in Tochigi, Japan.
There we were able to crash the new Civic into vehicles of different weights and sizes, and at different angles and speeds. We wanted to make sure that we are offering the best ‘real world’ safety for our customers.” explains Mitsuru Kariya, Civic Development Leader.
These remarks were echoed recently by Mr Deepak Daryanani, the Sales and Marketing Director of The Honda Place (the brand’s marketer in Nigeria), while commenting on how safe occupants are in the Civic.
The high level of safety was achieved in the new Honda Civic partly by the use of the Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure, a front mounted polygonal frame which has been designed to prevent deformation of the cabin by distributing forces away from the passenger compartment.
“Just as important as technology that protects you in a crash is technology that helps you avoid an accident in the first place” says Kariya. “This is the first time that the CMBS system has been introduced on the Civic in Europe.” Honda’s Collision Mitigation Braking System works by monitoring the distance and closing rate between the Honda Civic and the vehicle in front. If a collision is likely to happen, the driver will be warned, if an impact does occur, the impact will be reduced by the system by automatically assisting with heavy braking. The seatbelts will also be tightened in order to reduce loading on the driver during an accident.
“The new Honda Civic features sophisticated protection features. I am very proud that Honda has a leading reputation for pedestrian safety. It’s an area in the new Civic that has been constantly worked upon.” commented Julian Warren, Senior Safety Engineer. The pedestrian protection features includes energy absorbing front wing mounts and windscreen wiper pivots that are designed to break away in an impact.
The new Honda Civic features a new, flowing exterior design, with designers wanting to keep the sporty and advanced elements of the car, whilst revising them in such a way to give a more dynamic feel.
“We have lowered the height by 20mm and increased the width by 10mm compared with the current car,” commented Mitsuru Kariya, Civic Development Leader. “Defining the correct proportions was the most important challenge for the design of the new Civic,” says Kariya. “We enhanced the sporty aspect of the design while creating a clean, dynamic shape.” Inspiration for the new Honda Civic includes a ‘blended wing body’ aeroplane, which sees the fuselage and wings blend into a single body offering superior aerodynamic performance.
This concept took the designers in a new direction, with the ‘blended body’ used to convey the sporty image, rather than relying on the engine power. An example of this is the new rear spoiler combination light that works as an aerodynamic spoiler, managing air flow over the top and sides of the car. The interior of the new Honda Civic is driver-focused and creates a sporty ambience. “We wanted to create the feeling of a cockpit, like a racing car or an aeroplane,” said Yukio Emi, the Design Chief of the Civic Interior.
“The key target was to increase the feeling of quality,” says Kariya. “We have changed our approach to match customer expectations and European standards. The new Civic has a high quality cabin, both in the way that it feels and the way that it looks. Offering class leading boot space with the versatile seat combinations means that it’s the most practical yet.”