Honda has revealed the tenth-generation Civic at the Paris Motor Show.

The Japanese manufacturer says its family hatchback has undergone the ‘largest single model development programme in the company’s history’.

The Civic has been around for more than 40 years and in that time it has become one of the most important cars in Honda’s line-up, if not the most important. For the hatchback’s tenth iteration, the company decided to give it a complete overhaul.

The exterior styling now has more focus on being ‘sporty’, and it’s wider, longer and lower than any of its predecessors as a result.

It’s built on a totally new platform, which Honda says ‘has been engineered from the ground up to fulfil the promise of agile and rewarding dynamics’. To achieve this, it’s lighter and more rigid than before, with a lower centre of gravity and a new suspension set-up.

The new Civic will be the first model in Europe to receive Honda’s new 1.0-litre three-cylinder and 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engines. Both are offered with a choice of six-speed manual or a CVT automatic.

Inside, there’s a new focus on technology integration. The lower part of the centre console holds smartphones and offers wireless charging. Above that sits a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Honda also pulled the wraps off a prototype for the new Civic Type R. Based on the standard car, it gets more muscular body panels and an aggressive body kit. A front splitter, brake ducts and a rear diffuser are just some of the aerodynamic extras fitted to this go-faster version.

No engine details have been released yet, but expect performance to be approaching 350bhp, which has become the benchmark for the hottest hot hatches. Whether Honda embraces all-wheel drive instead of the current Type R’s front-wheel drive to achieve this remains to be seen.

The new Civic will be manufactured for global markets at Honda’s UK plant in Swindon and will go on sale in Europe in early 2017.

Adam Pilon


September 29, 2016