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by Tim Beissmann

Honda has released another preview video of the British-built 2012 Honda Civic Si hatch ahead of its unveiling at next month’s 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The 2012 Honda Civic Si will be offered in five-door hatch form only, with European deliveries to commence at the beginning of next year. A sports-focused three-door Civic Type R spin-off is expected to follow further down the track.

The 2012 Civic Si will score an updated version of the 2.2-litre i-DTEC four-cylinder diesel engine. The diesel engine is not currently available in the Civic Si range in Australia.

The uprated engine will produce 110kW of power and 350Nm of torque. With average CO2 emissions of 110g/km, expect the Civic Si diesel to have a combined cycle fuel consumption rating of around 4.7 litres/100km.

Along with improved vehicle aerodynamics, the engine has scored a number of efficiency improvements. Engineers looked at oil flow to reduce circulation loss, and also revised the build materials to reduce friction of moving parts.

All manual models will also benefit from stop/start technology to further enhance efficiency.

Honda Australia’s Melissa Cross said although the Civic Si diesel had been designed specifically for Europe, the local branch is looking at its options for the new model.

“We realise the diesel market is growing in Australia,” Ms Cross said.

“As such, we are considering a number of options for the future and have not made any firm decisions.”

Ms Cross did not confirm timing details for the introduction of the new Civic Si for Australia.

The current Civic Si has received a sales boost this year after Honda Australia slashed thousands of dollars off the starting price in March – cutting it from $37,490 to $29,990.

In January, Honda sold just 52 Civic Si vehicles, representing just nine per cent of all Civic sales. Last month, the number increased to 157, representing more than 26 per cent of total Civic sales.

The remaining percentage is made up of the niche Civic Type R and the more mainstream Civic sedan.

The new ninth-generation Honda Civic sedan will go on sale in Australia in the first quarter of 2012.

Honda Australia will continue to import the Civic from Thailand and will offer it with 1.8- and 2.0-litre petrol engines and a hybrid option.