Official Photos and Info
Called the “most radical redesign of the Civic in its history” and “a Civic that Mr. Honda would be proud of,” a concept car very close to the production tenth-generation Civic coupe hit the auto-show stage in New York in a hailstorm of corporate hyperbole.
Sadly, all Civic fans get at this point is this lime-green concept on 20-inch rims, which lacks both an engine and an interior. We also got these details: Besides the customary sedan and coupe, the U.S. will get its first five-door Civic hatchback in history. The next Civic also will introduce a new family of twin-cam VTEC engines, starting with a 2.0-liter four as the base powerplant and a 1.5-liter turbo as the upgrade. A six-speed manual and a CVT will be the transmission choices for regular-grade cars.
We say “regular-grade” because American Honda Motor also confirmed that the Type R is finally coming to the U.S., although it could be up to two years away. Informed speculation says the next-generation Type R likely will use the freshly unveiled current car’s 2.0-liter turbo engine with around 300 horsepower, to match other hot hatchbacks in the segment, and offer only a six-speed manual. We also learned that the Civic five-door will come last in the launch rotation, after the new sedan this fall, the coupe next winter, and the Si models shortly after that. The New York concept was described as the most aggressive take on the next-gen Civic’s styling, and thus it could be a preview of what the Type R will look like.
Apparently, some new car somewhere bombed because the automaker released the suspension particulars six months in advance of the launch, so Honda is being particularly stingy with the details. It refuses to divulge the horsepower, body materials, suspension architecture, or even confirm exactly when the new Civic will go on sale.
Thus, all we have to go on at this point are assurances that this will be a return to the sporty Civics of beloved memory, establishing new high points of handling and refinement for the model. The new Civic will be a little longer and a little wider than the current model, with a shorter front overhang and A-pillars that are pulled back to give it a sexier profile. The concept coupe sports curvier front fenders and a very fast roofline that ends in a notchback trunk. Front and rear LED lighting strongly link the concept to the current Civic as well as the rest of the Honda lineup. No real risk-taking to be seen there, although it’s not clear if the racy band of LEDs across the trunk lid that connects the taillight clusters will remain for production.
The new Civic is largely a North American project, with final styling done in Honda’s Los Angeles studio. Sedan and coupe production are slated for the current Civic factory sites in Alliston, Ontario, Canada, and Greensburg, Indiana. Engines will come from Honda’s plant in Anna, Ohio. In a repeat of history, when Civic Si hatchbacks were imported from England from 2002 to 2005, the five-doors—and thus the Type R—will be built in Honda’s U.K. plant in Swindon.