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Geneva show: Honda Civic finally hatched

Baby got back: Honda's new Civic hatch will arrive in Australia after the sedan launches mid-year, meaning it may not launch until 2017.

Prototype reveals tenth-generation Honda Civic's 'sporty' design

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Honda logo2 Mar 2016

HONDA has lifted the lid on its all-important Civic hatch in prototype form at the Geneva motor show overnight, revealing a “sporty and dynamic” design that gives the car-maker greater ammunition in the fiercely contested small-car segment.

The tenth-generation Civic hatch is 30mm wider, 20mm lower and 130mm longer than the current United Kingdom-sourced hatch, while short overhangs and larger and wider wheels and tyres make for a sportier look than the outgoing model.

Honda Australia director Stephen Collins detailed the local roll out of the Civic and added that he expected the new-gen model to gain traction with small-car buyers.

“This tenth-generation Civic Hatch is the sportiest remake of the Civic ever,” he said. “This is an exciting new chapter for a much-loved Honda nameplate. We have a three-phase launch plan in Australia that will put Civic back on the shopping list of small car buyers.

“The all-new sedan will arrive mid this year and then Hatch will follow, and then Type R. We aren’t able to confirm exact timing for the Hatch or Type R as yet, but these variants will play an important role in the success of this model.” A coupe version that will be sold in the United States has already been ruled out for Australia.

While the Civic will be built in Europe for a number of global markets, Australia is expected to source the sedan and hatch from the Thailand factory. As previously reported, the new hatch and sedan will be more closely related and share more mechanicals than recent iterations of Honda's small car.

While the Geneva car is technically a prototype, the production version is expected to maintain most of the design elements. The large air intakes, front spoiler, massive rear diffuser and other aggressive treatments probably won't make the regular hatch variants, but may reappear for the forthcoming Type R.

It carries similar front-end styling to the sedan that was unveiled in September last year, with the sculpted bonnet, sleek LED headlights and daytime running lights, prominent wheel arches and a similar treatment at the rear end with familiar C-shaped LED tail-lights.

Tenth-generation Honda Civic project leader Daisuke Tsutamori said the designers wanted to create an exciting new look while remaining faithful to the first-generation Civic's values.

“We knew that we needed to create a striking and stand-out exterior design that challenged conventional European compact styling, while staying true to the original Civic's core values,” he said. “The result is a marriage of distinctive and sporty design, rewarding driving dynamics and versatile practicality.” In Europe, the Civic hatch will be offered with three engines, including the new 1.0-litre and a 1.5-litre VTEC turbo-petrol engines, the latter of which is already confirmed the the Australian-spec sedan and is therefore likely to end up in the hatch.

A revised 1.6-litre turbo-diesel unit will be available in Europe, however after the oil-burning version of the Civic hatch was discontinued in Australia last year due to low take-up – just three per cent of overall Civic sales – it is highly unlikely that it will be sold here.

Fuel consumption figures for the 1.5-litre unit are not available, but at the time Honda revealed the sedan it said it was targetting a figure of about 7.0 litres per 100 km on the combined cycle. It will be paired with a new continuously variable transmission.

Few other details have been revealed, including a view of the interior, but it is expected to mimic the new look of the sedan cabin that features a high-definition 7.0-inch Display Audio touchscreen found in the Jazz, City, Odyssey and HR-V and ultra-thin A-pillars for better forward visibility.

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