By Joe Wiesenfelder on January 9, 2011
The ninth-generation Honda Civic sedan and coupe in Si trim appeared at the 2011 Detroit auto show in concept forms. As usual with Hondas, the styling of these concepts is very close to what the real products will look like when they go on sale this coming spring, but the interiors and the details remain in conceptland.
What we do know is that the cars look like an evolution of the current generation — a style that isn't broken and probably shouldn't be fixed. The Si coupe concept has adopted a subtler version of the CR-Z hybrid's fish mouth, and the sedan's broad, short upper grille recalls the recently redesigned Volkswagen Golf.
Both body styles have a prominent shoulder line, and the Si's tail is distinguished by a diffuser with a single, center-mounted tailpipe.
Drivetrain details are few, but Honda promises more efficient gas engines with 40 mpg on the highway and, in the next-generation Civic Hybrid, the first use of lithium-ion batteries. The natural-gas-powered Civic GX will also return, but this time for national distribution. The Civic will be produced in Greensburg, Ind.
Executive Editor Joe Wiesenfelder, a Cars.com launch veteran, leads the car evaluation effort. He owns a 1984 Mercedes 300D and a 2002 Mazda Miata SE. Email Joe