This week (1 March) sees the unveiling of the Civic Concept, a five door hatchback exclusively developed for the European market.
The styling of the Civic Concept is very close to that of the mass production model that will be introduced in early 2006. It was designed to appeal to our customers’ emotions, with a wider and lower body that achieves a distinct sporty style that is unique to Honda.
The model previews the all-new eighth generation Civic which will continue to be built at Honda’s Swindon manufacturing plant – and which will be sold worldwide in two, three, four and five-door variants. Honda will continue to offer an IMA (petrol electric) 4-door Civic for Europe and in other markets a natural gas powered model.
The concept car on display shows the intention of moving the new Civic into a more sporty, emotional and fun to drive direction, while retaining the user friendliness and practical features which have made the existing model so successful – Civic continues to be the top selling British built hatchback in its class, in the UK.
It will offer class-leading performance with excellent environmental and safety technologies. It will feature the award-winning 2.2 i-CTDi diesel engine, as well as a state-of-the-art petrol engine line up. In the area of safety, every model in the new Civic line-up is planned to be equipped with the most advanced features in its class, including Vehicle Stability Assist system and side curtain airbags.
Unveiling the Civic Concept at the Geneva show, Honda’s President Takeo Fukui said: “With all of these changes, the all-new Civic will shift toward the premium end of the class ? while providing a true fun-to-drive spirit. And we plan to set a new benchmark in the C-segment based on the quality and performance of the new car. Regarding production, we have long produced Civic for European markets at Honda’s UK plant. Now, beginning with this all-new Civic, we are advancing this commitment by introducing diesel engine assembly in Swindon.”
The Civic has been Honda’s best selling model globally, with the model accounting for 30% of total Honda sales. Annual numbers exceed 500,000 – of which 84,000 are sold in Europe – and over 16 million have been produced and sold around the world over the past 33 years. Civic has frequently been the carrier for Honda introducing new technology for mass consumption, and the next generation will be no exception.
The Civic is now manufactured in Japan, North America, South America, Europe and Asia, with production in China starting next year. It is sold in approximately 160 countries.