WASHINGTON – The Civic Hybrid, Honda Motor Co. Ltd.'s second hybrid electric vehicle, makes its North American debut at the Washington auto show Dec. 20.

Honda says it expects the vehicle to achieve about 50 mpg (5L/100 km) for both city and highway driving -- about 30% better than Civic sedans with conventional internal combustion engines. Honda says it expects the '03 model to cost about $20,000 and produce a volume of 24,000 vehicles annually.

Dan Bonawitz, vice president-corporate planning, says "to add hybrid power to the Civic lineup is an example of the faith and confidence we have in our hybrid technology."