4160815_001H

Here’s a real surprise – Honda has released the first official photos of the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback ahead of its arrival in showrooms across the United States, slated for this autumn.

And no, we haven’t mistakenly placed a photo of the Geneva concept – this is the real deal. The outlandish bodykit with massive faux vents, gloss black side skirts and bridge-like rear spoiler linking the C-shaped tail lights has been carried over pretty much wholesale.

Even the centre-exit twin exhausts have been retained, although only on certain models – we’ll get to it later. About the only thing that hasn’t been carried over are the lime green highlights, while the wheels are an inch smaller at 18 inches in diameter, although it has a similar two-tone design.

honda_civic_touring_hatchback

Unlike the sedan and coupé, the UK-built hatch is offered exclusively with a 1.5 litre VTEC Turbo engine, ditching the 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated i-VTEC mill used on other Civic models in the US. The LX, EX and EX-L models producing 174 hp and 220 Nm, while Sport and Sport Touring models gain the aforementioned high-flow centre exhaust system that boosts power to 180 hp.

The Civic hatch will also debut a new transmission option for the turbocharged engine – a six-speed manual transmission is offered on the LX, Sport and EX variants, alongside the CVT available on all models. Fuel consumption is rated at 7.6 litres per 100 km in the city, 5.9 litres per 100 km on the highway and 6.9 litres per 100 km combined, on models equipped with the CVT.

Under the skin, the Civic hatch features a more rigid and lightweight body with fully-independent suspension; the current FK hatch features torsion beam rear suspension. Also fitted are liquid-filled suspension bushings, a sport-tuned variable-ratio electric power steering and four-channel anti-lock disc brakes with EBD and Hill Start Assist (HSA). Honda claims class-leading volume and cargo capacity inside.

honda_civic_touring_hatchback_1

Available kit includes a Honda Display Audio infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility on EX variants and above, heated front seats and side mirrors, power-adjustable front seats and remote engine start. The Sport Touring model gets these features and standard, plus other items like heated rear seats.

The Honda Sensing suite of driver assist systems – including Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Lane Departure Warning and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow – is optional on most models, and standard on the Sport Touring.

Closer to home, Honda Australia has confirmed that the next-generation Civic hatch – which will go on sale there in 2017 – will be built in Thailand, which means that it will very likely be offered for sale in the region. In fact, the concept which preceded the production version was displayed at the ongoing 2016 Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS), adding more fuel to speculation.


GALLERY: Honda Civic Hatchback Prototype at GIIAS 2016