The tenth-generation, 2017 Honda Civic hatch has made its world premiere at this week’s Geneva motor show, in “prototype” guise.
However, the production version will not go on sale in Europe until April 2017, meaning an Australian launch before late next year seems unlikely. On the bright side, the next-generation Civic Type-R is at least confirmed, unlike the current one.
The almost production-ready concept vehicle continues the familiar sharp design of its European predecessors, but is nevertheless demarcated from the edgier current and previous-generation models.
Honda says the all-new Civic Hatch will be wider, lower and longer than the current generation. New larger and wider wheels and tyres will give a feeling of an “assured stance”, while the long wheelbase and (hopefully) continued clever packing should make it practical.
The short front overhang with large air intakes presents an aggressive interpretation of Honda’s family face. LED headlights and daytime running lights flow from beneath the sculpted bonnet into accentuated wheel arches.
The swept-back body lines continue along the side of the car with a swage line that incorporates front and rear door handles before culminating in the distinctive C-shaped LED rear lights.
The lower character line extends from behind the front wheels up through the doors and meets the rear wheel arches. The back bumper incorporates angular creases and vents.
Project leader Daisuke Tsutamori said: “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.”
In other words, expect the production car to stay relatively true to this concept when it launches in Europe in April 2017.
Expect the hatch to again be made by Honda UK, potentially for all export markets, obviously including ours. This could hurt the price against Thai- and Japanese-sourced rivals.
The show car is without technical details, though Honda has confirmed the production car will feature its new 1.0 and 1.5-litre VTEC turbo engines, along with a revised 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel.
“This tenth-generation Civic Hatch is the sportiest remake of the Civic ever,” said Honda Australia director Stephen Collins.
“This is an exciting new chapter for a much loved Honda nameplate. We have a three-phase launch plan in Australia that will put Civic back on the shopping list of small car buyers.
“The all-new sedan will arrive mid this year and then Hatch will follow, and then Type R. We aren’t able to confirm exact timing for the Hatch or Type R as yet, but these variants will play an important role in the success of this model.”
So, expect the Honda Civic family to battling the segment’s top-sellers including the Toyota Corolla and Mazda 3, like the old days, by the end of next year.