2012 Honda Civic uncovered - Introduction

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  • All-new Civic
  • Price £16,000-£23,000 (est)
  • On sale January 2012
The new Honda Civic is one of the most important production cars launched at the Frankfurt show.

This ninth-generation model aims to build on the strengths of the current car, but add extra technology, better efficiency, improved ride and handling and higher quality.

What’s new
Apart from a similar overall look and the basic platform underneath it, nothing is carried over from the current Civic.

The influence of the wind tunnel is key to the new look: Honda has used every trick in the book to optimise airflow, to both reduce drag and improve high-speed stability.

The rear end has the greatest effect on aerodynamic drag, which explains the Civic’s distinctively high-set, sculpted look. It also accounts for the unique ‘side spoilers’ mounted on the rear wings, below the tail lights. These are standard for diesel models and drop CO2 emissions by 1g/km.

There have been some concessions to improve rear visibility – one of the current car’s major flaws. Crucially, the ‘wing’ that cuts across the rear screen is lower and narrower. There’s a windscreen wiper this time, too, while the heating elements cover the whole screen, not just the upper section.

There’s also a larger side window area, although Honda points out that it’s still smaller than usual for the class, helping to create a sporty, ‘three-door’ look. As before, the rear door handles are ‘hidden’ within the frame, adding to the illusion. This time around, there are no plans for a three-door model.

Five key facts
• Longer and lower
• Aerodynamic drag cut by more than 12%
• Engines are cleaner, but more powerful
• Improved rear visibility
• Little or no price rise

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2012 Honda Civic uncovered - What’s it like inside?

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