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Frankfurt show: Civic hatch laid bare

Next up: Honda's next-generation hatch variant is an evolutionary development over the current design, featuring similar proportions.

Honda whips the covers off its all-new Civic hatch on eve of Frankfurt show

Honda logo13 Sep 2011

By TERRY MARTIN

HONDA released the first complete pictures of its ninth-generation Civic hatchback on the eve of the Frankfurt motor show this week, following a protracted teaser campaign over the past two months showing the five-door in various stages of development.

The British-built hatchback has been confirmed for Australia, although the local Honda subsidiary is still holding out on exact launch timing for the new model – expected in the first half of next year – due to strong initial demand in Europe, where it reaches showrooms in the first quarter of 2012.

The five-door Civic will go on sale here alongside the redesigned Thai-built sedan also due for release early next year and will replace the current Si hatch, which starts from $29,990.

Among a raft of all-new or heavily upgraded competitors the Honda hatchback will face include Holden’s Australian-designed Cruze Hatch, Subaru’s fourth-generation Impreza, Hyundai’s second-generation i30 (also shown at Frankfurt for the first time this week), a facelifted Mazda3 and Ford’s recently released third-generation Focus.

15 center imageA three-door body style and a high-performance Type R derivative should follow, although for now Honda has only confirmed an upgraded 110kW/350Nm 2.2-litre i-DTEC turbo-diesel engine that, with the aid of idle-stop technology, returns 110 grams of CO2 per kilometre – and which is a hot prospect for sale in Australia.

Honda said its designers attempted to “keep the sporty and advanced elements of the car’s character but tailor them to express the new model’s even more elegant yet dynamic feel”.

“Sources of inspiration included a ‘blended wing body’ aeroplane in which the fuselage and wings blend into a single body for superior aerodynamic performance, quietness and habitability,” the company said.

Honda claims “nearly all” body components have been redesigned on the new Civic hatch, with particular focus on “ride and handling, reduced CO2 emissions, interior quality, while preserving the class-leading cabin and boot space and flexible practicality”.

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