The current Honda Civic is inching ever closer to British showooms. The 2017 model is all-new, will be built in Britain and features a sporty design overhaul conceived to add some visual dynamism over the somewhat dumpy model that's currently on sale. The car's due on sale in February 2017 with prices from around £15,000.
We've seen official pics and spy shots of undisguised Civic hatchbacks heading for the US where the saloon and coupe versions are already on sale. Production of European market Honda Civics is set to start early in 2017 but they will feature only minor styling tweaks compared to these US cars.
A concept version of the new, global Honda Civic was first revealed at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show and we'll officially see the production car at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. Our spies have regularly spotted the production car undergoing testing on the road, including the new Honda Civic Type-R hot hatch version. We've seen our first glimpse of the cabin and a clear look at the bodywork without camouflage.
Honda has confirmed the production car will be the first in its range to feature the new 1.0 and 1.5-litre VTEC turbo engines, along with a heavily revised 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel. It’ll be built at the brand’s manufacturing facility in Swindon, where a £215m investment in new technology and processes has been made to get ready for the new model.
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As you can see from these images, the family hatch loses the current version's high back, instead featuring a lower roofline with a steep rear screen. The bonnet is much longer than before as well, and it looks like the new model will get a sportier front bumper - a toned-down version of the one on the concept car.
At the back the central twin exhaust pipes from the concept remain, suggesting that this could be a quicker Type S model. You can just about make out the new taillights as well, which are also inspired by the concept's boomerang-shaped rear lamps.
Inside, the design appears a lot more conventional than the exterior, but even in these spy images you can see quality has improved significantly. The dash design is driver focused, with a central touchscreen set to be used, while you can spot deeply set digital instruments.
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Auto Express was granted an early interview with the chief designer of Geneva's concept to find out more about the upcoming 10th-generation hatchback.
While the Honda Civic concept car was strictly for modelling purposes, it gives us a good idea of how the new model will look when it hits showrooms in February 2017.
Principal designer, Diasuke Tsutamori told Auto Express: “This prototype is already on a very close level to mass production. When you see the final car, you will probably think it’s still the prototype.”
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It’s a stark departure from the current car, which has often been criticised for its divisive styling. At the front, you’ll notice the short overhangs and large air intakes, as well as all-new LED headlamps that give the car a fresh look. Unfortunately, the green foglights don’t meet current EU legislation!
Along the side there’s a sculpted line that runs the length of the car, breaking by the rear door handle to emphasise the rear haunches. A high bootlid and that familiar visibility-sneering spoiler finish it off, but Tsutamori insists that the now one-piece rear window will make manoeuvring infinitely easier than before.
“The current Civic has two weak points”, he said. “One is the rear visibility and the other is the high stance from the rear view.
“These two points were eliminated with the new design. We have lowered the rear spoiler and reduced its thickness. The window is now just one sheet so you do not have obstacles limiting your rear view.”
As the Civic concept car is a prototype, Honda has left out a few key components. If you’re wondering what it looks like inside, you’ll need to wait a little longer – this car doesn’t have a dashboard or even seats. We therefore can’t comment on interior design, quality or even headroom, for our model’s doors were firmly locked.
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That said, like Tsutamori insisted earlier, the new car will offer practicality and versatility on a par with its closest rivals. The new car is 30mm wider, 20mm lower and 130mm longer than the current car. Bosses assure us the large wheels and long wheelbase of the prototype will remain, hinting at a sportier yet roomier family hatchback.
“The decisive factor is the human being. We believe the amount of space in this car is absolutely sufficient in order to fulfil that requirement. Practicality is always key in our design.”
What do you think of the new Honda Civic? let us know in the comments section below...