Honda Element and Civic Hybrid Earn Best of What's New Awards from Popular Science

Honda's all-new Element light truck and the gasoline-electric Civic Hybrid sedan have each earned prestigious 2002 "Best of What's New" Awards from Popular Science magazine.

Chosen from the new products and innovations that Popular Science reviews every year, Element earned the 2002 award for its innovative design that combines the best traits of multiple vehicles with its side cargo doors, low flat floor, and rugged interior. The Civic Hybrid captured an award as a significant step forward in automotive technology with an efficient powertrain that increases fuel economy by up to 40-percent in one of the best-selling small cars in the United States.

Element, scheduled to go on sale in December, combines popular traits from pickup trucks, SUVs and other vehicles that deliver one or two functions well but for a trade-off. Element aims to provide the best overall package with a hard flat floor like a pickup, an enclosed rear area like an SUV, fuel economy and handling performance like a car, available 4-wheel-drive, and a price starting at about $16,000.

The Civic Hybrid uses Honda's patented Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system consisting of a newly developed 1.3-liter, i-DSI, 4-cylinder gasoline engine coupled with a thin and lightweight electric motor for enhanced fuel economy and added power when accelerating. The electric motor acts as a generator during deceleration and breaking, automatically recharging the batteries so the car never needs to be plugged in. The Civic Hybrid is available with either a 5-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) to achieve EPA city/highway fuel economy ratings of 46/51 and 48/47, respectively.

Popular Science awards just 100 winners from all types of industries with its annual "Best of What's New" awards. The award winners are announced in the December 2002 issue of the magazine.

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