Honda went back to the drawing board with the new, 10th generation Civic that was unveiled today during a special event in Los Angeles.
We often hear automakers present revised iterations of existing models as all-new cars, but Honda really means it with the 2016 Civic that brings a bolder and sleeker appearance reminiscent of what other brand’s call four-dour coupes, a new chassis, new tech, new engines and even a new body style for America – a five-door hatch.
In LA, the Japanese carmaker introduced the sedan model that will kick off the range next year, followed by a coupe, high-performance Si models, the aforementioned 5-door hatchback, and another first for the US market, a Civic Type R model to rival the Ford Focus RS. The latter is believed to carry a version of the European model’s (built in Ohio) 306hp 2.0-liter turbo four.
Speaking of turbos, one of the two new launch engines on the 2016 Civic Sedan is a 1.5-liter direct-injected and turbocharged 16-valve inline-4, mated to a CVT – the first turbo’d engine on a U.S. Honda model. It will be available in EX-T, EX-L trims and Touring trims. According to Honda exec Sage Marie, this unit will produce around “30hp” more than the current 1.8L unit, which puts it to 173hp.
The other unit is a 2.0-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder for the base LX, which Marie said will be the most powerful base engine ever offered on Civic producing 15hp more at 158hp. Buyers will be able to choose between a 6-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
Honda said that both engines will are targeted to receive EPA highway fuel economy ratings in excess of 40 mpg.
The new 2016 Civic Sedan is nearly 2 inches wider (albeit 1 inch lower) with a 1.2-inch longer wheelbase than the existing model, yet it’s 68 pounds (31kg) lighter than before. Honda says that it offers an additional 3.7 cubic feet of interior space with 2 inches of extra rear-seat legroom, while trunk space has been increased by 2.6 cubic feet.
The new chassis features a revamped strut front suspension and a new multi-link rear suspension mounted to an ultra-rigid rear subframe, while other notable changes include variable gear ratio steering, beefier front and rear stabilizer bars, standard 4-wheel disc brakes and the application of Honda’s Agile Handling Assist brake-torque vectoring technology.
Torsional rigidity of the new body is improved by 25 percent, thanks in part to the more intensive use of ultra-high-strength steel (12 percent vs 1 percent).
More info coming up