The third generation was released in September 1983 for the 1984 model year. The separate five-door hatchback and wagon models were merged into a four-door “shuttle wagon” or “wagovan” sometimes referred to colloquially as a “breadbox” due to its appearance, called the Honda Civic Shuttle. An additional two-seat coupe style—labeled CRX—was introduced, noted for its compact dimensions and light weight. The third generation Civic saw the introduction of the long running four-cylinder D series engine including a new 1.5 L (91.5 cu in) CVCC engine. 1984 also saw the release of a high-performance Si model for the Japanese market, featuring upgraded suspension and the 1.6 L (97.6 cu in) DOHC ZC engine which was rated at 130 PS (118 HP). Si models were offered in the US as a 3-door Civic Si hatchback and the CRX Si variant with a 91 horsepower (68 kW) fuel-injected SOHC 12-valve engine. A 4WD engine with different transmission mounts was introduced for the first time in 1984, and later upgraded in 1987. It delivered a fuel economy of around 28 mpg highway. The 4WD system was push-button operated until improved in 1987 when the rear wheels would engage automatically once the front wheels lost traction. This new system was called “Realtime” which used a “viscous coupler” connecting two propeller shafts between the front and rear axles. The manual transmission featured a synchronized 6th gear, called “SL”, or “Super-Low”, which was used for high torque at very low speeds. The “Realtime” idea is still utilized to this day but includes technological improvements since the first system. Starting with 1985, Japanese Civics were now exclusive to Honda Primo, with variants sold at Honda Verno and Honda Clio. A four-door version called the Ballade was built, under agreement, by Mercedes Benz South Africa, models were 1300, 1500, 1500i, and 1600i DOHC 1.6 injection.
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