Unveiled today at the Geneva Motor Show, the Civic Hatchback Prototype previews a production model that will arrive soon. Chatting with company representatives and the car’s chief designer Daisuke Tsutamori today at the Honda booth in Geneva, here’s what we now know about the brand’s next model.
1. No 2.0-liter
While Honda currently offers both a 158-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a 174 hp turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder in the coupe and sedan, the Civic Hatchback will be available only with the turbo motor. For now. Look for Si and Type R models to arrive in time.
The 2.0-liter was recently the subject of a recall, but that has no bearing on the decision. Instead, Honda says the turbocharged engine best suits the car’s more performance-focused direction. It’s also an indication that pricing for the hatchback will come at a premium compared to the rest of the lineup.
2. The Type R Will be a Hatch
While it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion, once the Civic Type R does eventually arrive in North America, it will be a hatchback.
The car will be the performance focus of the Honda lineup. Honda has acknowledged that the Civic has become a more rational car and with the new hatchback they’re hoping to move away from that.
And don’t be surprised to see one racing at either Pikes Peak or the 25 Hours of Thunderhill this year.
3. A Hybrid Could be in the Future
There might even be a hybrid Civic, though not necessarily for North America. The car’s chief designer Daisuke Tsutamori confirmed to AutoGuide that the platform is flexible and could incorporate the latest electrification technologies.
4. The Civic Might Also be the Next Accord
Tsutamori also commented that the Civic platform is flexible enough that it could be used for a larger segment of cars. Does this mean Honda’s platform sharing will use the same structure for the next Accord?
5. It’s Inspired by Lamborghinis
According to Tsutamori, he didn’t have any other hatchback or conventional car in mind when he penned the new Civic Hatchback prototype. Instead, he says he was inspired by supercars. When asked what supercars he prefers, he was quick to answer “Lamborghini.” The answer seems obvious once you look at the car with its matte grey paint, black accents and neon details.
So will the production version get the center-exit exhaust pipes? Knowing Honda’s pattern of rolling out concepts that are only slightly modified versions of the production model, it seems likely. Tsutamori did say the prototype is “very close to production.”
6. We’ll Get it First
While North America is used to getting cars significantly after they launch in Europe, the Civic Hatchback will actually arrive on our shores first. Built in the U.K., it will go on sale in the U.S. in the second half of this year. It won’t arrive in Europe until 2017.