Honda Begins Building the Civic GX at New Indiana Plant
Just seven months after starting production of conventional Civics at its new Honda Manufacturing of Indiana plant, the automaker has rolled the first of its ultra-clean Civic GX models off the line in Greensburg. Previously assembled at the firm's East Liberty, Ohio, facility and powered by compressed natural gas, the GX is the only CNG-fired car made in America by a major auto manufacturer -- and the only one to be sold in all 50 states. Winner of the American Council for Energy-Efficient Economy's "America's Greenest Car" award for five years running, the GX is 90 percent cleaner at the tailpipe than the average gasoline-powered car, sufficient to qualify for ILEV (Inherently Low Emission Vehicle) status with the EPA. It's powered by a specially modified version of the Civic's 1.8-liter four-cylinder i-VTEC engine that features a loftier 12.5:1 compression ratio to take full advantage of CNG's inherently higher octane rating (130 RON). Developing 113 horses and backed by a five-speed automatic transmission, it returns 24 mpg in the city and 36 mph on the highway. While the GX does suffer a certain degree of range limitation that impacts all CNG-powered vehicles, it still manages to return a very usable 220 miles GGE (Gasoline Gallon Equivalent) on a single fill of its 8.0-gallon fuel tank. And it qualifies for a $4,000 Federal tax credit as an alternative fuel vehicle.