The new Honda Civic hatchback has been officially revealed by Honda North America after earlier being scooped by the firm setting sail across the Atlantic.
The Swindon, UK-built five-door is the first hatchback to be sold in the U.S. and it seems the firm is getting rather excited about it – rushing out details of the new car ahead of its European colleagues who developed and will build the car.
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The official studio images confirm the new Civic hatchback will be little-changed from the striking concept car revealed at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show; Honda’s even showing the new car in a similar matt grey paint finish (sadly sans the lime green detailing of the concept).
Honda North America’s anticipation stems from the fact this 10th generation Civic, in saloon and Coupe guise, is the reigning 2016 North American Car of the Year; it’s expected the new five-door hatch will be similarly impressive.
To be launched in autumn 2017 – hence the boat-loads of new Civics now headed across the Atlantic – Honda North America has confirmed further details about the new Civic hatch.
It’s to be offered with just a single engine initially: a new 1.5-litre direct injection turbo, producing either 174hp or 180hp – the extra 6hp comes on Sport models, which have a high-flow centre-exit exhaust (as featured on the Geneva Motor Show concept car).
Pair it either with a six-speed manual or a so-called “sporty” CVT: Honda says the latter will deliver class-leading fuel economy. European cars will also get an upgraded version of Honda’s 1.6-litre i-DTEC turbodiesel.
Following criticism of the down-specced suspension on the current model, the new Civic hatch returns to independent suspension front and rear, with fancy liquid-filled bushings. The bodyshell is stiffer, to further aid ride and handling, and the electric power steering is promisingly described as “sport-tuned” with variable ratios.
It will be big, too: class-leading volume includes the best rear legroom and the biggest boot in its sector. Those in the back will even enjoy the option of heated rear seats.
Honda’s current dreary infotainment system will get a big lift with a new Honda Display Audio system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The new Civic hatch has been jointly developed by Honda in Europe and Japan, says Honda North America: the Swindon, UK plant will be the only one in the world producing it. And Honda U.S. enthusiasts can’t wait for it to arrive.
“The Civic Hatch has been a staple for Honda in Europe, but has long been the forbidden fruit for Honda fans in the U.S.,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
“Now, we’re bringing this sporty, stylish and versatile Civic Hatchback to North America, as we amp up the performance of our incredible Civic lineup with each new Civic model.”
More news on the European-spec new Civic hatch is expected in coming weeks: it will make its motor show debut at Paris next month.