2015 Honda Civic Concept

Honda’s convention of using a lightly disguised “concept” to unveil its new production cars is well-established, so there’s little doubt that the Civic Concept unveiled at the New York Auto Show this week indicates the styling direction of the next-generation Civic, due out some time in 2016. What the bright-green car on display does tell us is that the new Civic is likely to be the most aggressively styled version of the popular compact ever.

Is this corporate backlash? The Civic, once the undisputed king of the compacts, has had a rough go of it the past few years, what with improved competition from Ford and Chevrolet, and unexpected challengers from Korea. The current Civic got a black mark on its record when it went back to the drawing board less than a year after its debut for a round of necessary improvements. It’s a fair bet Honda won’t be making that mistake again.


Honda Civic Concept

Honda Civic Concept

Honda Civic Concept

Entering its 10th generation, the Civic is lower and wider. The concept version shows off a complex front end with a deep fascia and huge air intakes, but all next-gen Civics will no doubt feature the integrated grille-headlight unit that’s similar to other recent Honda family members. The sides show athletic sculpting and a prominent arch over the front wheels, while the rear has a dramatic slope to the backlight and an arched full-width LED taillight unit that looks like it could make it to the production car. The spoiler and center-exit exhaust will probably be reserved for the show car however. Overall the Civic Concept hints at a new Civic that will be dramatic and more eye-catching than the current car. The front end is an especially effective take on Honda’s bolder new family look.

Honda has announced that coupe, sedan and Si models will be offered. The really exciting news is the promised return of the Civic hatchback and a Civic Type R performance model.


Interior details are sketchy on the Civic Concept. The all-new body has slightly larger proportions, so expect a small improvement in interior room. Amenities like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, a backup camera and the LaneWatch side view monitor that debuted on the Accord are likely.


Honda Civic Concept

Powertrain details have not been released, but Honda has let slip that a new 1.5 liter turbocharged direct-injection engine is on the way. It will be coupled to a six-speed short-shift transmission. Could this be the return of the Civic Si? Honda also says that a sportier continuously variable transmission is in the works.



Mazda3 Sedan

The Mazda3 is the unabashed sporty member of the subcompact clique, and the latest version sports a fantastic powertrain as well as one of the most beautiful and comfortable interiors in the segment. There’s no two-door model, but then the Mazda3’s many converts haven’t clamored for one, either.

Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf

Arguably the only subcompact with an enthusiast and aftermarket following as extensive as Honda’s, the Volkswagen Golf offers an entertaining drive, spacious and refined interior, and one of the most comprehensive powertrain selections in the industry, with conventional, diesel, hybrid and full-electric versions.


Honda Civic Concept

With the Civic Concept’s fierce styling and promises of high-performance models, it appears that Honda is keen to rekindle the affordable-performance flame in the Civic’s legion of fans. Such a position moves it away from its perennial battle with the bland Toyota Corolla and sidesteps the Hyundai and Kia offerings to challenge the more enthusiast-pleasing subcompacts. As an enthusiast, I can’t object to that.


  • Eyecatching styling
  • Return of the Civic hatchback
  • Has Honda relearned how to be sensible and still have fun?


  • There’s still some concern that the Civic could take a last minute turn into “boring and bland.”

Gallery Honda Civic Concept

Press Release

Today Honda unveiled its ultra-sporty Civic Concept at the New York International Auto Show as the brand prepares to launch its completely reimagined 10th-Generation Civic models beginning this fall. With a sharper focus on spirited performance and class-leading versatility, the new Civic lineup will include Civic Sedan, Coupe and Si models along with the return of the Civic hatchback, followed by the launch of a new Civic Type-R as the performance flagship of the Civic lineup. The new Civic also will be the first U.S. model to apply new VTEC® Turbo engines from the company’s Earth Dreams Technology™ powertrain series.

Honda Civic Concept

“The new Civic will be, flat out, the most dynamic, the most technologically advanced and the most refined and stylish Civic we’ve ever made,” said John Mendel, executive vice president, Automobile Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “In every way, this will be an epic Civic.”

The Civic Concept provides a tantalizing glimpse forward to the thrilling design direction for the all-new 10th-generation Civic lineup launching in the U.S. this fall. Featuring a longer wheelbase and lower, wider stance, the new Civic emphasizes its aggressive personality and the engaging experience it will provide behind the wheel. Proportionally it boasts a longer hood, a shorter front overhang, a more set-back greenhouse and a shorter rear deck, lending the Civic a more athletic and “in motion” appearance.

Honda Civic Concept

The low and wide proportions are underscored by its more aggressive wheel-to-body relationship and pronounced fender arches. Its sporty and expressive face is highlighted by bright new LED headlights flanking the “Flying H” Honda grille which is supported by deeply sculpted lower air intakes.

“Charismatic, connected and athletic, our goal was to create a design that is emotional and sporty yet with a sense of timelessness and simplicity,” said Guy Melville-Brown, Chief Exterior designer of the Civic concept, Honda R&D Americas, Inc. “In this we set out to create a vehicle that goes beyond the superficial and embraces the very philosophy of what a true Civic should be; it’s a real game changer.”

The 10th-generation Civic is based on a compact platform that targets benchmark levels of efficiency, dynamic performance, safety and manufacturing productivity. Leveraging this new platform in conjunction with new Earth Dreams Technology™ powertrains – including a new 1.5-liter VTEC® Turbo engine with direct injection, a short-shifting 6-speed manual transmission, and a new, more sporty and efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT) – the Civic will target class-leading fuel economy ratings and fun-to-drive performance with near-luxury levels of cabin quietness and ride refinement.

Honda Civic Concept

The new Civic will also target class-leading levels of safety performance and will offer the Honda Sensing™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Multi-Angle Rearview Camera, Adaptive Cruise Control and Honda LaneWatch™, along with Honda’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure.

The new Civic marks the first time that global development of both the sedan and coupe models is being led by a North American R&D team, with design led by a team from Honda’s Los Angeles design studio and development centered in the company’s Raymond, Ohio vehicle development center. The North American version of the Civic Sedan will be produced in Greensburg, Indiana, and in Alliston, Ontario. The Civic Coupe and Si models will also be manufactured in Alliston. The VTEC Turbo engine will be produced in Anna, Ohio with engines also produced in Alliston. The CVT will be produced in Russells Point, Ohio. Together, these four Honda plants have invested in new equipment, processes and training to prepare for new Civic production, which will use domestic and globally sourced parts. Production of the five-door hatchback will take place at the company’s Swindon, UK plant.

Honda Civic Concept

Honda is in the midst of a series of major product launches that began with the freshened CR-V – 2015 Motor Trend Sport Utility of the Year – and continues with the spring launch of the all-new 2016 Honda HR-V crossover and the summer launch of the redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot SUV. This will be followed by the new Civic release beginning this fall.

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