Honda is unveiling the 10th generation of its signature Civic hatchback at the Geneva show, a car that is very important to UK industry.
When it goes into production in 2017 the new Civic will be built at Honda’s UK plant in Swindon, which becomes a global hub for the model, exporting it across the world.
The Geneva show car is a concept said to be close to production ready, and described by Honda as a step change from previous Civic models, focusing on “provocative design and rewarding driving dynamics.”
Honda Motor Europe’s automotive GM Jean-Marc Streng emphasises that the Civic is a core model for Europe with a strong sales and manufacturing heritage in the region.
“For many European customers, Civic is synonymous with the Honda brand – the all-new Civic hatchback continues this tradition, and we hope will continue to be a key volume pillar for the European business,” Streng says.
The car is the biggest Civic hatch yet, 30mm wider, 130mm longer but 20mm lower than the current version. A combination of a long wheelbase, short overhangs and larger, wider wheels are said to give the car a more assured look, with dramatic styling touches including a bold swage line rising along the flanks and incorporating the front and rear door handles.
No interior is fitted to the Geneva concept but with body dimensions that significantly outstretch core rivals such as the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf, the new Civic will be expected to be a highly spacious car.
When it goes on sale the Civic hatch will, initially at least, be offered with a three-way powertrain choice. It will be the first European Honda to use two new V-Tech turbo petrol units of 1.0 and 1.5 litres, the former expected to produce CO2 emissions of under 100g/km, while there will also be a revised 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel.