You’re looking at the production ninth-generation Civic, unveiled ahead of its official launch this spring in the US. Think you’ve seen it before? At the 2011 Detroit show last month, Honda rolled out the Honda Civic Concept in both coupe and sedan form – the production cars are largely identical to those show cars.
In the US, the 2012 Civic lineup includes a sedan and a coupe with standard petrol models, a new “HF” high fuel economy version, the “Si” performance version, one hybrid and a natural gas alternative-fuel variant.
The Civic Hybrid will have a larger 110 hp 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine coupled with lithium-ion batteries, an upgrade from the old 1,339 cc engine and Ni-MH batteries. The CVT is carried forward. The Hybrid will feature ECO Assist technology and specific aerodynamic components. Honda expects it to achieve an EPA-estimated city/highway combined fuel economy of 45 mpg (15.9 km/l), an improvement of 4 mpg (1.4 km/l) over the old car.
While tagged as a fuel economy version, the HF is powered solely by a petrol engine – it’s not a hybrid. It does however get the ECO Assist system (standard across the Civic range, except Si) and the Hybrid’s aero bits. Combined with the standard 140 hp 1.8 litre i-VTEC engine/5-speed auto combo, Honda expects the HF to achieve up to 14.5 km/l on the highway, better than the non-HF’s 13.8 km/l highway figure.
The sporty Si is available as sedan or coupe, and is powered by a 200 hp/230 Nm 2.4 litre i-VTEC engine. This high revving unit is paired to a 6-speed manual transmission. Despite the larger engine (used to be a 2.0) and a 22% increase in torque, the Civic Si is expected to get a better economy figure from the EPA.
As you can see, the new Civic retains the familiar silhouette, but the area below the C-pillar seems to be more sculpted. And while the front design doesn’t depart much from the current car, the rear is all new, and more sporty looking in my opinion.
The cabin, seen for the first time here, follows the same two-tier with blue lighting sci-fi theme, but the centre console is now angled towards the driver. The top tier also includes a supplementary screen, perhaps to show ECO Assist or stereo functions. There’s also a new look steering wheel. To its left is the green ECON button, essentially a “power save mode” that the Insight Hybrid also has.
That’s all the info released for now, gallery is after the jump.
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