- New European-built Civic Hatchback receives public debut at 2016 Mondial de L’Automobile in Paris
- European specification Civic Sedan debuts in Europe
- Honda surprise crowds with the global premiere of the Civic Type R Prototype
- Prototype highlights design direction for next generation high-performance hatchback
- Honda sales continue to increase in 2016 with the brand continuing to lead mainstream manufacturers as the fastest growing in Europe
Following the successful launch of a refreshed automobile range in 2015, Mondial de L’Automobile 2016 has seen Honda unleash its latest salvo of new products for Europe. President and Chief Operating Officer of Honda Motor Europe, Katsushi Inoue, and Senior Vice President, Philip Ross, unveiled the new Civic Hatchback and Civic Type R Prototype, whilst celebrating a year of strong European sales growth for the Japanese marque.
Speaking at this afternoon’s press conference, Inoue-san commented, “In 2016, Honda in Europe has posted strong sales growth with an increase of 31% compared to 2015.That makes Honda the fastest growing mainstream car brand in Europe. Just as encouraging is the broad base of our growth, with strong sales increases in the 5 largest European markets [UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and France]. What’s more, 60% of these buyers are new to the Honda brand.”
New Civic Hatchback
Engineered for Europe, built at Honda’s UK manufacturing plant in Swindon* and exported globally, the new Civic Hatchback sees Honda take a step change in the quality of its compact segment offering.
A new exterior design incorporating a wider, longer and lower silhouette marks out the car as a departure from the last generation. Inside, improved materials give a premium feel with a sportier seating position (lowered by 35 mm compared to the current model).
Under the body, Honda’s new range of VTEC TURBO powertrains give a responsive and exciting driving characteristic, while maintaining the strong efficiency Honda is renowned for. Ride and handling are improved by a totally new suspension set up including the adoption of an independent multi-link system at the rear.
The new car further incorporates next generation advanced technology with a revised Honda CONNECT infotainment system, complete with Apple CarPlay™ and Google Android™ Auto functionality. In a first for Honda’s C-sector offering, the SENSING suite of active safety features are specified as standard on all trim levels.
The new Civic Hatchback goes on sale in Europe from Spring 2017.
New Civic Sedan
The new hatchback was partnered on Honda’s stand by the European version of the new 4-door sedan model. Built at Honda’s production facility in Gebze, Turkey, the new sedan has already been warmly received by customers in other markets, particularly the US where it has been on sale since late 2015.
The European version will be available across all mainland Europe markets from Spring 2017, initially available with a 1.5-liter VTEC TURBO engine and a choice of 6-speed manual or CVT automatic transmissions. Later in 2017, a 1.6-liter i-DTEC engine will also be on sale.
New Civic Type R Prototype
Alongside the new C-sector challenger, Honda sprung a surprise by unveiling the prototype version of the new Civic Type R. The prototype previews the aggressive design direction for the mass production Civic Type R, scheduled for a European launch in the second half of 2017.
At the front, the aggressive bumper is accentuated with a winged carbon fibre splitter and sporty red accent line. Additional slatted ducts add width to the bumper, and diamond-mesh inserts fill the sculpted air intakes.
Honda’s famous red ‘H’ badge – which adorns all Type R models – sits above a new air vent at the nose of the car. There is also a new intake on the bonnet, with an air scoop sited centrally in a trapezoidal recess. Smoked lenses for the LED headlights, indicators and side repeaters reflect the Type R Prototype’s more aggressive character.
Carbon fibre side skirts run the length of the wheelbase, between 20-inch piano black alloy wheels with red accents and 245-section high-performance tires. Enlarged arches accommodate the new wheels.
A substantial carbon fibre diffuser runs below the wider rear bumper, which frames three fully-functional tailpipes with a pair of directional strakes at each side. The central tailpipe is of a smaller diameter and is highlighted in bright metallic red. Unique peaks at the roof flanks point backwards towards a dramatic, visually striking rear wing.
During the unveil of the Type R Prototype, Senior Vice President Philip Ross said, “Type R epitomizes Honda’s racing DNA, our challenging spirit and the highest levels of performance engineering. Coming to Europe during the second half of 2017, we’re now set to embark on the next chapter of the ‘race car for the road’.”