Honda Civic Concept: First Look

  • Looks like: Honda’s ready for the inevitable “Furious 8” auditions
  • Defining characteristics: Fastback design, longer wheelbase, wider stance, LED headlights
  • Ridiculous features: Massive rear wing
  • Chance of being mass-produced: 100 percent; a sedan body style arrives first in fall 2015

Honda held the world debut of the Civic Concept at the New York International Auto Show today. The coupe concept heralds the forthcoming 10th generation of Honda’s compact car, which is set to arrive in sedan form in fall 2015. The coupe will come later, along with a new four-door hatchback body style. The performance-oriented Si trim level will continue and a high-performance Type-R model will also be offered. Enthusiasts, take a moment to rejoice.

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In typical Honda fashion, the Civic Concept’s design gives a good idea of what the forthcoming production car will look like; Honda Executive Vice President John Mendel said it is “very close” to the Civic you’ll be able to buy.

Concept cars usually have aggressive design cues that get dropped during the development of the production version, but there are some significant features that enhance the concept’s appearance and will more than likely stick around. One of them is the new fastback roofline, which ends right near the car’s tail. It’s a sleeker look than the current Civic coupe and is somewhat reminiscent of the Hyundai Veloster’s roofline.

An updated version of the Civic coupe’s grille is more upright and sits ahead of the hood’s leading edge. It’s an interesting look and, along with the large mesh lower grille and chin spoiler, enhances the concept’s sporty looks.

The Civic Concept doesn’t have a finished interior, but Honda did provide some details about what will be under the hood of the 2016 Civic. The base engine will feature double overhead cams rather than the current single overhead cam engine, and Honda will offer a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine with direct injection. A six-speed manual and a continuously variable automatic transmission will be available.

Honda also noted some of the safety features that the 2016 Civic will offer like lane departure warning, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control and Honda’s LaneWatch blind spot camera.

The Civic has faced increased competition in the compact-car segment recently, and it received a quick refresh a few years ago following a 2012 redesign that didn’t move the bar forward enough. Honda recognizes the competition’s advances and says it aims to do the same with the new Civic. “We can up the ante too,” Mendel said.

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