Close to a year after the regular 11th-generation Civic was revealed to the world, Honda Europe has given us a first look at the e:HEV hybrid model. This is the only variant to be sold in the continent and marks a return to petrol-electric power for the Civic after a generation away.

As previously speculated, the e:HEV hybrid gets the most powerful version of Honda’s Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD), also found in the Accord Hybrid. The electric motor driving the front wheels makes 135 kW (184 PS) and 315 Nm of torque and is juiced by a 2.0 litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder.

Unlike the one in the Accord, the petrol mill is direct-injected and as such should be more powerful, leading to even higher combined outputs. No specs have been released for the engine, but the unit in the Accord makes 145 PS at 6,200 rpm and 175 Nm at 3,500 rpm, leading to a total power figure of 215 PS. Honda says it has made several tweaks to achieve a stratospheric thermal efficiency of 41%.

Also fitted is a new 72-cell battery that forms part of the smaller and lighter Intelligent Power Unit sitting under the rear seats, along with a compact Power Control Unit that is now situated under the bonnet with the rest of the powertrain. The company targets a combined WLTP fuel consumption figure of under 5.0 litres per 100 km and carbon dioxide emissions of less than 110 grams per kilometre.

Aside from the new powertrain, the European Civic will also be sold exclusively in hatchback form, just like in Japan. This means a rear end that is 125 mm shorter than the sedan’s, fitted with full-width taillights, large trapezoidal exhaust exits and a resin tailgate that is 20% lighter than before. The front grille also comes with a hexagonal mesh and is taller than the sedan’s, leading to a less prominent “forehead”.

Inside, the Euro Civic shares the same cabin design as the rest of the world, with a clean horizontal dashboard, full-width air vents with a metal mesh cover and a freestanding nine-inch centre touchscreen. Other features include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and an options list that includes a 10.2-inch digital instrument display and 12-speaker Bose sound system – both not available in Malaysia.

Safety-wise, the Civic comes as standard in Europe with the full Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance systems, including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane centring assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, low-speed AEB and Level 2 semi-autonomous driving capabilities in the form of Traffic Jam Assist.

The car is also fitted with no less than 11 airbags to match the number of generations, including dual front knee airbags, rear side airbags and a centre airbag between the front occupants. The latter appears to be exclusive to Europe for now.

Although the e:HEV is only being shown here in hatchback form, expect the hybrid model to be offered as a sedan in Southeast Asia. Thailand, which will reportedly receive the car soon, has recently stopped local production of the five-door due to slow sales. A Malaysian launch should follow in due time.