John Mendel, executive VP of American Honda, announced that the CNG (compressed natural gas) and hybrid civic versions would be axed to, “allow greater focus on [the] Civic’s sporty new character.” The CNG Civic has actually been in production for almost two decades, and over the course of its run, only 16,000 models have been sold. The hybrid, on the other hand, has done fairly well for the brand.
Another model that will be led out to pasture is the Accord plug-in hybrid. Honda says it needs to clear the path for the redesigned Accord Hybrid and an all-new, fully electric model. The 2016 Accord hybrid will adopt a new twin-motor drivetrain to make it more economical.
When speaking of the CNG Civic, Mendel said, “With any type of inconvenience, customers aren’t willing to compromise. Over the years, the price of natural gas rose to parity with gasoline and fueling these vehicles is not easy. The infrastructure, while it improves, just wasn’t as convenient as petrol.”
While Honda appears to be pairing down its environmentally-friendly models, the Japanese automaker promises these moves will lead to more efficient vehicles down the road. For now, the Civic is expected to get best-in-class fuel economy, with over 40 mpg highway.
And, while we don’t know yet how fuel efficient it will be, the 10th generation Civic that was previewed via a concept at this year’s New York Auto Show will look to inject fun-to-drive characteristics that have been missing from the brand in recent years. Oh, and don’t forget the Civic Type R that’s coming Stateside in a year or so.