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Was it truly round, or was it more of an egg-shape?

Some cars put a cam device under the throttle cable so that you get better tip-in response.

What you are doing, if you can picture this, is moving the cable further for less pedal depression when the cable passes over the "pointy" end, than later in the throw of the pedal, where the cable passes over the flatter part of the oval.

Essentially, this does the exact same thing as if you were to press the pedal fairly hard at first, then still keep pushing it down farther, but not as hard as you get closer to the floor.

I don't know if this makes sense without a diagram (or if this is even what you all are talking about on the Civic), but this is something that some manufacturers do use and it has the effect of making the cars feel "peppier" than they really are, by artificially making you open the throttle faster at first.
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