Honda’s Civic Hatchback Sets the Stage for an American Comeback
Honda fanboys, prepare yourselves for a gratuitous amount of eroticism. Honda has just revealed a far more affordable alternative to the mighty Civic Type-R: Boosting its cool points significantly, the Japanese automaker has revealed a reworked five-door version of the classic subcompact, and damn does it look sharp.
Claiming that this prototype “heralds a significant step-change from previous versions of Honda’s core European model,” the angular concept seen here is more subdued than the Type-R, but still wild enough to keep us interested. Just by looking at it, one can tell that the sportiness enthusiasts demand in a hatchback Si model is all there, without all of the extremities and traffic cop attention that the Type-R flaunts.
“The all-new Civic hatchback will be 30 mm wider, 20 mm lower, and 130 mm longer than the current generation,” Honda said. This increased footprint means that we will likely see a sizable bump in performance handling gains, as well as a roomier cabin. Having a broader stance also leaves room for larger/wider wheels and tires for added grip and better looks, while the longer wheelbase gets contrasted by short overhangs.
Those overhangs also serve a secondary purpose, as they house that duo of massive air intake ducts which act as both a “sharp and aggressive interpretation of Honda’s family face,” and as a fully functional aerodynamic and engine performance upgrade. Meanwhile, LED headlights and running lights are offset by halo fog lamps, which remain reminiscent of the circular, dual port center-mounted exhaust out back.
Incorporating both deeply carved and windswept lines, this prototype features Honda’s signature C-shaped LED tail lights out back, and the use of overstated rear vents adds even more performance styling to the mix. It’s also nice to see that both the roof-mounted spoiler and the flushmount beneath it are not gregariously oversized, and that they are slightly gapped for additional visual dimension. The lip kit also looks tastefully understated, adding just enough pizzazz to make it all that more sporty looking.
Developed in order to cater to the European market, this hatchback version of the 10th generation Civic may be scheduled for a European launch early next year, but according to AutoGuide, America will get ahold of it before anyone else for once. Produced by Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) and exported to global markets including the United States, this hatchback may be the middle-of-the-aisle Civic we’ve been waiting for all along, especially if it gets offered in Si trim.
On the subject of the latter, while everyone continues to talk about the impressive Civic Type-R, not everyone can afford one. Having a milder but still competent model might be just the ticket to marketing this chassis. Equipped with either a six-speed manual or a CVT transmission, this model will more than likely roll out with both the new 2.0-liter motor and the turbocharged 1.5-liter powerplant, with Si configurations still being categorized as “to-be-announced.”
Daisuke Tsutamori, Honda’s Project Leader who spearheaded the styling of this version of the new Civic had this to say: “We knew that we needed to create a striking and stand-out exterior design that challenged conventional European compact styling while staying true to the original Civic’s core values; a marriage of distinctive and sporty design, rewarding driving dynamics and versatile practicality.”
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