The latest chapter in the race for fuel efficiency

Honda is raising the stakes for fuel efficient gasoline powered compact cars by announcing two new versions of it's Civic, both more fuel efficient current Civic models.

The 2012 Civic HF has a 1.8 liter gasoline engine and is expected to to get 41 mpg highway, compared with 36 mpg for the current gas powered Civic.

The 2012 Civic Hybrid is expected to average 45 mpg in combined highway/city driving. The 2102 Civic Hybrid will use a lithium-ion battery pack according to Honda.
Conventional wisdom is that fuel efficiency gains have been implemented to help Honda stay ahead of Hyundai, who began selling an updated Elantra last year that averages 40 mpg on the highway.
The new Civics are expected to go on sale in the spring.