Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Car FYI Car of the Month April 2015: 10th Gen Honda Civic Concept

One of the last auto shows of the North American auto show circuit before spring driving weather invites us outdoors, the 2015 New York International Auto Show indicated automakers saved a few choice offerings after months of premieres and debuts. Taking a bite of the ‘Big Apple’ this year was the unveiling of Cadillac’s CT6 sedan, the new Nissan Maxima, the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu and the McLaren 570S. Observers of the show in New York were also treated to a vision of the returning Lincoln Continental in concept form.

With an impression could be on the road in the near future, simply look at the current roadways in Canada to gauge what was likely the most important introduction at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. The Honda Civic has earned our respect for decades in Canada just as it has across the globe. With Alliston, Ontario accounting as part of the Civic’s supply chain since the 1988 model year, the Canadian driving public has shown its appreciation by making it the best-selling car in the country for an active 17 consecutive years. In New York, a concept version of the 2016 model year Honda Civic Coupe stunned the crowd.

A popular compact car, the Honda Civic has not been without its turmoil in recent years. The ninth-generation North America Civic has received scrutiny for lacking the attraction of the previous generation models. Among one of the argued aspects of the ninth-generation model was the mildness of the exterior restyle. The styling was so unpopular that Honda undertook a considerable design retouch in 2014 (a little more than a year after the ninth-generation model debuted). Judging from the tenth-generation Civic Concept, caution has been thrown to the wind. Incorporating Honda’s new, edger front end featuring the “Flying H” grille and LED headlights, the car presented in New York boasted a longer hood. Providing a fastback-look profile, the shorter rear deck projects a faster “in motion“ appearance.


Another criticized factor in the last Civic was the slowness to acknowledge new technologies. While the car’s VTEC engines remained solid performers, the valve timing control technology is not as cutting-edge as it was in the 1990s. Today, gasoline direct injection and turbocharging is seen as the norm for vehicles running in the second decade of the 21st century. The next-generation Honda Civic will also present the first use of a turbocharged VTEC engine in North America. Considered a late entrant on the turbocharger bandwagon in the United States and Canada compared to other auto brands, at least two VTEC Turbo powerplants will be part of the 2016 model year Civic. A powerplant line-up constructed around Honda’s Earth Dream Technology geared towards efficiency. Gasoline direct injection will also be a part of the 2016 Civic. A continuously variable transmission and a short-shifting six-speed manual transmission will be paired with the latest VTEC powerplants. Other non-powerplant-related technologies that will be offered on the 2016 Honda Civic includes Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control and a multi-angle rearview camera.

When the 10th generation Honda Civic enters production, a sedan, coupe and a five-door hatchback body style will be available. It is not entirely clear if the hatchback will be coming to Canada but it is confirmed for the US. The Civic Si immediately returns while a high-performance Type R is planned. Production of the Coupe, sedan and Si models will continue to take place in Canada at the Alliston manufacturing plant.

Photos supplied by Honda

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