For 2018 Honda has presented us with an eco-friendly vehicle to look forward to. The all-new Clarity makes use of a next generation Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive two-motor hybrid system built to be fun but still remain an efficient and highly optimized system. Fun breaks down to us getting a 181-horsepower and 232 lb.ft torque from all core powertrain components, a 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle engine and two electric motors. Ensuring an highly optimized powertrain for maximum efficiency are three drive moves: EV Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive. The end result is an impressive 47 mile all-electric range, 44/40/42 MPG (gasoline-only) and 110 MPGe all-electric combined. Other key powertrain features include: i-VTEC + Electric VTC, 100,000+/- miles engine tune-up interval and a Regenerative Brake System.
- Honda USAThe 2018 Clarity Plug-In Hybrid's utilizes the second generation of Honda's Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) two-motor hybrid system. This highly efficient powertrain selects the optimal drive operation under a wide range of driving conditions to combine fun-to-drive performance with outstanding efficiency.
Power comes from a 181-horsepower electric motor producing 232 lb.-ft. of torque and drawing power from both the gasoline engine and a 17-kilowatt hour (kWh) battery pack. A recharge time of just 2.5 hours using a Level 2, 240 volt (32 amp) charger allows for easy charging.
The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid powertrain utilizes a 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle engine that is paired with two electric motors – a traction motor and a generator/starter motor.
Detailed energy management for each component, controlled by the Power Control Unit (PCU), enables the system to make the best use of both the electric propulsion motor and the gasoline engine to provide seamlessly smooth and responsive performance while garnering exceptional EPA fuel economy ratings.
To help maximize efficiency on the road, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid seamlessly shifts between three distinct drive operations: EV Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive, utilizing power from the Atkinson-cycle i-VTEC® 4-cylinder engine and electric motors to actively adapt to current driving conditions.
Two-Motor Hybrid Powertrain
- Peak total system output: 212 horsepower
- 1.5-liter, DOHC, i-VTEC® Atkinson-cycle inline-4 cylinder engine
- Engine output: 103 peak horsepower (SAE net) at 5,500 rpm
- Engine output: 99 lb.-ft. peak torque (SAE net) at 5,000 rpm
- i-VTEC® (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) + Electric VTC
- Computer-controlled port fuel injection with multi-hole fuel injectors
- 13.5:1 compression ratio
- AC synchronous electric traction motor
- Propulsion motor peak output: 181 horsepower and 232 lb.-ft. of torque
- Integrated starter/generator motor
- Maintenance Minder™ system optimizes service intervals
- 100,000+/- miles engine tune-up interval
- Regular Unleaded fuel recommended
- 17 kWh lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery
- Electric-servo regenerative braking system
- Full charge in 2.5 hours using a Level 2, 240 volt (32 amp) charger
- Emission warranty: Eight-year/100,000-mile or ten-year/150,000-mile Li-Ion battery limited warranty, depending on the state of purchase/registration
Emissions/Fuel Economy/Range Ratings
- 47 mile EPA all-electric range rating1
- 110 MPGe all-electric combined (city& highway) EPA fuel economy rating1
- 44/40/42 MPG (city/highway/combined) EPA fuel economy rating1 (gasoline-only)
- Meets LEVIII SULEV20 emission standards
The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid's key powertrain components are arranged for maximum packaging efficiency, affording the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid a roomy and accommodating 5-passenger interior. The lithium-Ion batteries are packaged beneath the passenger compartment to keep the center of gravity low for optimum handling without intruding on passenger or cargo space.
1.5-liter Inline 4-cylinder Atkinson-Cycle Engine
The 1.5-liter DOHC i-VTEC 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine develops a peak 103 horsepower (SAE net) at 5,500 rpm and 99 lb.-ft. of torque (SAE net) at 5,000 rpm. Advances in engine control tuning together with other technologies combine to create excellent power characteristics, exceptional fuel efficiency and very low exhaust emissions. This clean-running engine meets LEVIII SULEV20 emission standards.
Since the gasoline engine can be decoupled from the rest of the hybrid powertrain, it only operates as needed. Depending on the battery's state of charge and other parameters, the engine will automatically shut off during deceleration, or when the vehicle is at a stop. When needed, the gasoline engine restarts automatically, without action from the driver.
However, when the driver desires extra power in situations such as highway passing, even higher performance can be invoked by depressing the throttle pedal through a resistance point, or "click point," toward the end of the pedal travel, bringing the full power of the engine and electric motor together for maximum acceleration, regardless of driving mode.
Engine Block, Crankshaft and Pistons
The engine has a displacement of 1,498 cubic centimeters. Cast-in iron cylinder liners provide long-lasting durability. Each journal on the forged-steel crankshaft is micro-polished to reduce internal friction.
The 1.5-liter engine has cylinder bores are offset from the crankshaft to help reduce piston-sliding friction. This gives the connecting rods a more favorable angle during each power stroke, which reduces side loading on the pistons and, in turn, improves efficiency. The lightweight pistons have a carefully optimized skirt design to minimize reciprocating weight, and reduced weight minimizes vibration and increases operating efficiency.
Cylinder Head and Valvetrain
The 1.5-liter engine has a lightweight cylinder head made from pressure-cast aluminum alloy. A silent chain drives dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder. The cam drive is maintenance free throughout the life of the engine.
A high tumble-effect intake port design combined with a narrow valve angle decreasing the surface-to-volume ratio helps create a flatter, more compact combustion chamber that improves combustion efficiency while reducing unburned hydrocarbon emissions. This combustion chamber shape and the precise control enables a high compression ratio of 13.5:1, yet the engine still operates on regular unleaded fuel.
i-VTEC Valve Control System
The engine uses an advanced valve-control system to combine high power output with high fuel efficiency and low emissions. The system combines E-VTC (Electronic Variable Timing Control), which continuously adjusts the intake camshaft phase, with Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC), which changes the lift profile, timing and duration of the intake valves' operation.
High-Efficiency Dual Bed Catalytic Converter
A key contributor to the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid's emission performance is the combining of a close-coupled catalytic converter with an under-floor catalytic converter. The close-coupled converter mounts directly to the rear of the cylinder head for fast activation after the engine is started. It is followed by a second catalytic converter located under the floor. They combine to help the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid meet stringent LEVIII SULEV20) emission standards.
100,000+/- Mile Tune-up Intervals
The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid's engine requires no scheduled maintenance for 100,000+/- miles or more, other than periodic inspections and normal fluid and filter replacements. The first tune-up includes water pump inspection, valve adjustment, and the installation of new spark plugs.
Like any vehicle in this segment, convenience and practicality are the main areas of focus. Honda has accomplished that by including, spacious and premium seating for 5-passengers, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 2 USB audio interface ports, Auto-dimming rearview mirror, 60/40 Split Fold Down Rear Seat, Walk Away Door Lock system, HondaLink Assist (optional), Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System (optional), a 7-inch TFT intelligent Multi-Information Display and trunk capacity of 15.5 cubic feet (the largest in its class). Premium look and feel was accomplished by an instrument panel with sleek design, bio-fabric offered in your choice of two colors and woodgrain finish trim.
- Honda USAThe Clarity Plug-In Hybrid offers new value in the plug-in hybrid vehicle universe with its spacious and premium 5-passenger sedan configuration. Bright, modern and sophisticated, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid interior offers a premium feel coupled with exceptional comfort and refinement. It features an open, advanced feel with a sleek instrument panel, ivory white or black bio-fiber fabric (or leather-trimmed power seating in Touring trim) and accent panels with a natural-looking woodgrain finish. The interior is also outfitted with premium environmentally responsible materials and features advanced technologies including Display Audio with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ integration.
Key Interior Convenience and Connectivity Features
- 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen
- Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration
- Rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
- 7-inch TFT intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID) within the instrument cluster
- 180-watt 8-speaker audio system
- HD Radio™ and SiriusXM® Radio
- Pandora® interface
- SMS Text Message function
- 2 USB audio interface ports
- Push button start/stop
- Smart Entry
- Auto-dimming rearview mirror
- Dual-zone climate control
- Rear heat/air conditioning vents
- Walk Away Door Lock system
- Electric Parking Brake with Brake Hold
- 60/40 Split Fold Down Rear Seat
- Standard HondaLink®
- Available HondaLink Assist (when paired with compatible phone)
- Siri Eyes Free (when paired with compatible phone)
- Available Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with Voice Recognition and Honda HD Digital Traffic
A range of convenience features helps streamline daily commutes, including a roomy center console with a large storage compartment located under a padded center armrest. Also on the center console is a large dual cupholder and an open lower storage area large enough to accommodate a smartphone or tablet. The rear seating area features convenient fold-down center armrest, likewise with two cupholders, and cell phone pockets in the front seat backs. Storage bins with bottle holders in all four doors provide added utility.
A graphical LCD meter panel offers a clean presentation of useful information for the driver. The display also clearly displays power consumption, regenerative braking and battery charge level, along with the hybrid drive system energy flow.
The 8-inch high-definition Display Audio touchscreen interface is easy to see and use. The system includes standard Honda Satellite-Linked navigation and supports Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ allowing for compatible smartphones to be connected via a USB cable.
Drivers can stay in touch remotely with the many features of the car via the available HondaLink® app. This includes viewing the car's real-time charge level and remaining range, the ability to find the car and pre-condition cabin temperature from outside the vehicle, and more.
The HondaLink® app also includes StationFinder, which can help drivers locate the nearest approved EV station, and provides mapping directions to lead them right to it.
Environmentally Responsible Materials[/b]
Like other Clarity models, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid interior was developed to reduce carbon emissions by adopting plant-derived green materials and recycled materials. All plant-based materials are made of oils extracted from non-edible parts of plants, so as not to affect the food supply.
The Clarity has a trunk capacity of 15.5 cubic feet, among the largest in the competitive class and made possible by locating the IPU (with battery pack), under the floor. Spacious enough to easily accommodate four large golf bags, the trunk area is easy to access and use. All models feature a 60/40-split and folding rear seatback. The trunk is carpeted and lined, and a tire repair kit is located in a well within the trunk's right side panel.
Without a doubt, what stands out most about the all-new Clarity aside from some of its most practical every day features is design. Sharing a lot with the 2018 Honda Accord, what sets the Clarity apart is its futuristic design by way of advanced aerodynamic cues, highlighted by a host of LED lighting. LED lighting includes day time running lights, headlights and tail lights. Additional LED lighting not as noticeable can be found at the body corners, side markers and front turn signal. Personalization comes in the forum of 4 pearl, 2 metallic that all complement its high-tech but eco-friendly character.
- Honda USAFuturistic and functional, distinctive and efficient, the new 2018 Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is dimensionally similar to the all-new 2018 Accord sedan. Exterior features include advanced aerodynamic treatments, full LED lighting, high-efficiency Smart Clear Wipers (windshield wipers), and six available exterior colors including the new and exclusive Moonlit Forest Pearl.
Expressive, aerodynamic and advanced, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid exterior design establishes a new standard for plug-in hybrid vehicles. The presentation begins with distinctive front-end styling, encompassing LED DRLs and LED headlamps, a blend of decisive angular shapes and flowing curves, and high-tech aerodynamic features, all wrapped around an unmistakable Honda grille. The body sides visually sculpt the airflow, enabling the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid to slip through the wind with minimal aerodynamic disturbance. Front air curtains, rear tire covers and rear air curtains – along with chrome garnishes and a unique exterior color palette – are signature elements of the Honda Clarity series.
Key Exterior and Body Features
- LED headlights (hi-lo beam and DRL) and tail lamps
- Smart Clear Wipers (windshield wipers)
- Approximately 40 percent ultra-high-strength (980-1500 MPa) steel body structure
- Glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP) rear bumper beam
- Aluminum hood, front fenders, doors trunk lid, and rear parcel shelf
- Composite plastic steel and aluminum front bulkhead
- Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body with crash stroke design
- Acoustic glass, flush-mounted windshield
- Acoustic front door glass
- Triple door sealing
Measuring 192.7 inches long, 73.9 inches wide and 58.2 inches high, and riding on a 108.3-inch wheelbase, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is within an inch of the 2018 Honda Accord sedan in key dimensions. This generous sizing gives the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid a significant advantage in its segment compared to other comparably priced plug-in hybrid vehicles.
A comprehensive aerodynamics package helps the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid fulfill its mission as a tech-savvy, energy-efficient and image-leading vehicle. With its sleek design, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid adopts a low-drag basic form, together with numerous wind-tunnel tested details that further boost energy efficiency while simultaneously reducing wind noise.
Matching the size of the inlet openings on the front fascia to precisely suit engine cooling requirements reduces airflow under the hood, while special radiator ducting and a full underfloor cover further reduce aero disturbances. Special "air curtains" built into the front fenders and rear doors help air pass over the wheels with minimal disturbance, rather than tumble across the wheel openings; and partial tire covers integrated into the rear fenders further assist in moving airflow smoothly rearward. At the rear of the cabin, the C-pillars mimic the front A-pillars in shape and size, reducing energy-wasting vortexes coming off the rear of the body. Even the taillight lenses are optimized with a "washboard" surface that lets air flow smoothly across them.
Acoustic laminated windshield and front door glass plus extensive use of noise insulators under the hood, instrument panel and floor, and within the wheelhouses, help reduce noise to endow the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid with a serene, high quality driving experience. Liquid-filled rear suspension bushings also help to reduce unwanted noise and vibration.
The Clarity platform utilizes advanced material applications to reduce body-in-white weight by approximately 15 percent compared to a conventional mid-size sedan. 55 percent of the body is constructed with advanced lightweight materials including ultra-high strength steel, aluminum and plastic. Approximately 40 percent of the body is constructed using ultra-high-strength (980-1500 MPa) steel. Aluminum is used extensively in the body as well, for the hood, front fenders, front bumper beam, front and rear doors, trunk lid and rear parcel shelf. A new glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP) is utilized for the rear bumper beam, and the front bulkhead is made with plastic, instead of steel, with an aluminum upper section, where the bulkhead is bolted to the body. Aluminum is also applied extensively to the front and rear suspension and subframes (see CHASSIS for more detail).
The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is equipped with a comprehensive range of LED exterior lighting. In front are large, bright LED DRLs, and high-low beams with nine LEDs per side. At the body corners are LED side marker lights, LED front turn signals and LED edge lights. Out back, LED taillights, turn signals and wing-shaped brake combination lights provide high illumination.
Smart Clear Wipers
The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid uses new windshield wiper technology to deliver advances to improve the view from the driver's seat. The Clarity's Smart Clear Wipers deliver an 80-percent improvement in outward visibility during washing solution spraying, as well as a 50-percent reduction in washing solution usage for each operation, compared to traditional windshield wipers.
To improve driver visibility during washing solution spraying, the nozzle jets are located on the wiper blades themselves. The spraying pattern is thus reduced from a large surface to a line along the wiper blade and the time between spraying and wiping is also significantly reduced. For even greater efficiency, the jets adjust the amount of cleaning solution corresponding to the outside air temperature and vehicle speed.
The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is available in six distinctive exterior colors (four pearl and two metallic) that match the vehicle's low-emissions operation and high-tech personality. Moonlit Forest Pearl is exclusive to the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid and highlights the car's surfaces in sunlight or shadow. Also available are Platinum White Pearl, Crystal Black Pearl, Crimson Pearl, Solar Silver Metallic and Modern Steel Metallic. All colors utilize a deep clear coat for a brilliant gloss.
If there's one thing Honda is good at, its creating vehicles that maintain a consistent theme regardless where you look. The fun but eco-friendly theme lives on in the Clairty's chassis thanks to a lower center of gravity compared to traditional mid-size gasoline engine sedans. The result is a premium ride feel similar to what you'll find with some luxury car makers in the form of reduced body roll, reduced pitch and lean when accelerating and braking, reduced body roll, and more. Weight reduction techniques of simply using more aluminum over steel are to thank for this, cutting weight throughout its body and suspension system, reaching to 40% reduction of weight in certain areas.
- Honda USAThe Clarity Plug-In Hybrid combines Honda's "fun to drive" DNA with a smooth, quiet and highly refined driving experience, aided by special engineering features including a low center of gravity and liquid-filled suspension bushings.
Low Center of Gravity
In addition to its low body weight, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid features a lower center of gravity than a typical internal-combustion engine sedan, resulting in a reduction in pitching motion while accelerating or braking, as well as a reduction in body roll when cornering. The resulting flat ride quality, combined with the seamless and immediate power of its electric motor elevates the Clarity Plug-In driving experience to near-luxury levels of refinement and response.
The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid's high-rigidity body structure provides a robust foundation for the suspension, which comprises lightweight front and rear subframes, a MacPherson front strut suspension and a five-link rear suspension. Special Frequency Response Dampers automatically tailor the damping force required to achieve smooth and nimble handling.
The lightweight front suspension utilizes forged aluminum lower arms and hollow cast iron steering knuckles that are 10 percent lighter than conventional solid cast iron knuckles and the lower arms use liquid-filled bushings to minimize unwanted noise, vibration and harshness. All of the rear suspension arms are made of forged aluminum, achieving a 40 percent weight reduction versus a conventional steel design.
The front subframe is a one-piece, hollow die cast aluminum component offering a 20 percent weight reduction versus conventional designs. The technique was developed though Honda's experience in the development of hollow aluminum motorcycle frame components.
Complementing the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid's sophisticated hybrid powertrain, the chassis is designed to provide a quiet and refined driving experience. The suspension and bushings deliver low harshness and a high level of smoothness compared to competitors, with the front suspension lower arms particularly engineered for high longitudinal and lateral rigidity, while liquid-filled bushings in the rear suspension provide a high degree of longitudinal compliance and help block high-frequency noise, vibration and harshness.
Dual-Pinion Electric Power Steering
Dual-pinion Electric Power Steering (EPS) provides quick, agile and smooth cornering response. Excellent steering linearity makes it easy for drivers to trace precise lines through corners, and the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid's low center of gravity and suspension geometry help keep body roll to a minimum.
Wheels and Tires
The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid's 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels feature special outer aerodynamic covers that reduce drag and improve brake cooling. The lightweight wheels are painted silver and the aero covers are painted metallic gray for a dynamic and technologically advanced appearance. Specially designed 235/45R18 Michelin Energy Saver A/S tires provide an ideal combination of traction, low rolling resistance, and quiet and smooth driving characteristics.