|Honda Announces All New Civic for Europe|
|August 1, 2005 - Honda Motor Europe Ltd. today announced the all-new, eighth generation Civic for the European market. Wider and lower than the out-going model, the Civic retains virtually all the emotional styling characteristics of the concept car shown at the Geneva Auto Salon in March 2005. This new model will make its first public appearance at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2005 and sales are expected to commence in early 2006.
Launched to the world in 1972, the Civic has undergone many evolutionary changes to maintain its position as the most successful automobile to be built by Honda, accounting for roughly one-third of total Honda sales worldwide. The current seventh generation Civic is built in 11 countries and sold in 160 markets around the globe.
The forthcoming eighth generation Civic promises to change on a revolutionary scale and will attempt to set new standards in the highly competitive European C-segment, particularly in the upper quality/premium sector.
The concept car shown in Geneva already revealed Honda's intention of moving the Civic into a sporty, emotional, and fun-to-drive direction. Key to achieving these qualities is the wedge-shaped forward cabin with lower vehicle height, wider width and shorter length.
The overall length is now 35 mm shorter than its predecessor and overall height, 35 mm lower. But, in order to create a more dynamic silhouette and a better handling C-segment car, Honda decided to increase the overall width by 65 mm and the front and rear tracks by 34 mm and 45 mm, respectively.
Despite being shorter and lower on the outside, the new Civic is actually more spacious inside. The interior features the "Dual Link" concept, in which important driving information, including vehicle speed, is displayed in the upper part of the instrument panel, while other information is provided in the lower part. This design allows the driver to concentrate on the road while receiving vital information, enhancing the easy-to-operate and fun-to-drive character of the car.
In terms of utility, the rear seats can be tipped up to form a second storage area in the rear passenger cabin. The rear seats also have a one-motion, dive-down feature that instantaneously create a flat loading space. The total volume of the luggage compartment is quite impressive, with 485 litres, thanks to the center positioning of the fuel tank. The cargo floor can drop down to reveal an under-floor compartment. All this flexibility translates into a hidden versatility not expected in a sporty looking car.
There is a range of three different engines to choose from: a 1339cc 61kw/83 PS petrol unit, a brand new 1798cc 103kw/140 PS petrol unit or a 2204cc 103kw/140 PS diesel unit. All of them are combined with a 6-speed manual gearbox making the new Honda Civic the first car in the C-segment to be equipped with 6-speed gearboxes across all of its range. The petrol units can also be equipped with a 6-speed automated manual transmission.
All Civics are equipped with ABS and, for optimum performance, Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) which adjusts all wheel brake effort to achieve maximum braking performance and stability. The new Civic also features, across the range, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) designed to assist the driver in maintaining control during cornering, acceleration and sudden manoeuvres by applying brake force to the right or left hand wheels as necessary and managing the throttle and brake systems.
Passive safety has always been paramount at Honda. The new Civic has an innovative seat belt reminder system for the rear passengers and both the front seats are fitted with double pre-tensioners. The active front headrests have a decisive role in protecting the passengers against the dangerous whiplash injury.
The expected result for the Euro NCAP crash test for this Civic is top levels for front and side impact safety, pedestrian safety and for child protection safety, making it one of the safest cars in its class, especially considering that it has the shortest front overhang in the C-segment.