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Honda at Paris Motor Show

Honda is this year celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Civic, which was first introduced in 1972.

Since then, sales have exceeded 20 million units worldwide. Popular for being affordable, comfortable and fun to drive, the Civic has always been at the forefront of engine development, showcasing engineering breakthroughs such as Honda’s Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion (CVCC) engine in 1972 and the DOHC VTEC, introduced in 1987, the first engine in the world to electronically control both valve timing and lift.

Honda marked this anniversary by displaying an original first generation Civic at the Paris Motor Show alongside the latest-generation Civic.

The Civic WTCC race car was displayed on Honda’s stand following the announcement that Honda will compete in the full 2013 FIA World Touring Car Championship.

Driving for Honda will be Italian Gabriele Tarquini and Portuguese Tiago Monteiro.

The Civic WTCC car utilises the HR412E engine, which is a completely bespoke 1.6-litre, four-cylinder direct-injection, turbo-charged petrol engine, fully conforming to FIA regulations for the WTCC. The engine was developed at Honda’s R&D centre in Tochigi, Japan, and heralds a new generation of high-performance racing engines from Honda.

The new fourth generation CR-V also made its European debut at the Paris Motor Show this month.

Building on the success of its predecessors, the new CR-V has improved quality, practicality and refinement.

For the first time in Europe, the compact SUV will be offered with a choice of both two and four-wheel drive, while improvements to both petrol and diesel engines have resulted in a significant reduction in CO2 emissions. Comprehensively redesigned for the European market, the new CR-V will be built at Honda’s production facility in Swindon, UK.

The newcomer is instantly recognisable as a member of the CR-V family but asserts its own identity. The prominent three-bar grille and deep-set headlights continue the introduction of Honda’s new Y-shaped ‘face’, while the vertically stacked taillights have been a CR-V signature since the first generation (1995-2001).

Stylish additions to the European model include a revised front bumper, front LED daytime running lights and rear LED lights with a three-dimensional design.

The CR-V will also be offered with Honda’s new 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine as a two-wheel-drive model from September 2013.The first drivetrain from Honda’s new Earth Dreams Technology engine series to be introduced in Europe, it will be built at Honda’s manufacturing facility in the UK.

The new CR-V also features a comprehensive range of safety equipment designed to help the driver avoid or mitigate an accident, or to protect the occupants should a crash become unavoidable.

Efficient, functional and confident, the fourth generation CR-V builds on the success of its predecessors, of which over five million have been sold.

“If you want to improve a vehicle that is already well-balanced and respected, the only solution is to enhance that vehicle in every area while making it more efficient than ever before,” Large Project Leader Ryouji Nakagawa, said. “That is what we have done with the new CR-V.”

Shown for the first time at the Paris Motor Show, Honda also introduced a new 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel engine in the Civic hatchback. The first engine in Europe to feature Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology series, it combines strong performance (120 PS) with CO2 emissions of only 94 g/km.

The key to the engine’s success is its lightweight technology. The use of an open-deck aluminium block helps reduce the mass of the engine by 58 kg compared with the 2.2-litre i-DTEC, making it the lightest diesel engine in its class.

Reducing the weight of the engine helps reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions, while also making a valuable contribution to the driving dynamics.

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