Earlier today, as they had teased, Honda revealed the design of what will be the next-generation Civic sedan over livestream in a very short video. Annoyingly, this was preceded by the same video reveal over Twitch in between some Fortnite gameplay.
Due out “next spring”, or early Q2 2021 in normal speak as a 2022 model, the orange example here is the upcoming iteration of the popular Honda C-segmenter, which the company boasts as having been the best selling car in North America. This 11th-gen version seeks to build upon that popularity with a design that doubles down on the visual link between it and the larger Accord.
Despite looking very much like its final form, Honda still insists on the ‘prototype’ label, but promises “an even sportier chassis and more powerful engine options”. They’re clearly going after an even more youthful audience here, particularly with the Twitch reveal, but that might be at the risk of sidelining the established customer base that prefers that the car portray a more grown-up persona.
From the front and rear, the new Civic looks very much like the 10th-generation Accord insofar as how their fascias and light signatures match up. Gone are the characteristic C-shaped tail lights in favour of a more conventional looking cluster. In profile, again like Accord, the new Civic’s windscreen and A-pillar looks to be more upright but also quicker to slope down to establish that coupe-like fastback roofline.
Inside, this single image shows a more uncluttered dashboard layout that relocates the main infotainment touchscreen to a floating unit above a very Audi-like horizontal curtain air vent that runs from the centre console until it almost meets the passenger door panel. The HVAC controls themselves consist of 3 main knobs but every other function and readout seems to have gone digital.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing else about the car that is confirmed apart from the exterior design. It does also seem like a more evolutionary step forward than what we saw previously in the transition from the 9th-gen to 10th-gen Civic.
If this is a recurring theme, we could reasonably expect that this new model is still formed from the shared bedrock of the outgoing car. The four-cylinder 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo, then, should be making a return as the staple engine option and mated to a CVT. That said, it’s looking like Honda saw fit to endow it with more power and sharper handing.
Honda already offers a 205hp version of the 1.5-litre turbocharged engine in more athletic variants of the existing Civic, so its plausible that this tune would become more widely available (or even standard) across the range.
The automaker is highly unlikely to resurrect the coupe body style, however, even for the North American market following its discontinuation at the end of 2020 that stemmed from slow sales, but the hatchback is confirmed to be making its debut alongside the sedan next year.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.