NEW HONDA CIVIC SEDAN – CONCEPT AND DESIGN
Sophisticated and athletic
The ninth-generation Honda Civic continues the premium, alluring legacy of its predecessors by presenting a sophisticated and futuristic execution that blends efficiency with style.
Although the Civic has been available outside South Africa’s borders for four decades, it was first introduced to South African motorists in 1982, bearing the Ballade nameplate. However, the local range was aligned with Honda’s international naming conventions with the introduction of the seventh-generation version in 2001.
The compact sedan has always been considered a cut above the norm, offering a unique blend of style, sophistication and upmarket equipment from the very beginning.
The ninth evolution of this famous nameplate continues this trend, with its development concept focused on producing a futuristic and distinctive compact sedan.
The overall concept revolved around three pillars: producing a clean and energetic design; using smart technology to enhance the driver interface and driving experience; and creating a car that’s both fun to drive and fuel efficient.
On the styling front, the new Civic sedan relies on a fresh interpretation of Honda’s flowing ‘one-motion’ design theme, first introduced on the outgoing Civic – the winner of the 2007 South African Car of the Year title.
In its latest form, the one-motion silhouette expresses a cleaner, more efficient and energetic character that embodies power and purity, distinctiveness and dynamism. It eschews the typical three-box sedan configuration in favour of a flowing monoform body with a sleek, sweeping profile and defining character lines.
The one-motion design is defined by a continuous line starting near the front of the bonnet, extending over the cabin and continuing all the way to the boot in an unbroken, single line. The highest roof point is above the front passengers, which creates a coupé-like roofline flowing smoothly into the boot.
Both front and rear fender lines have been designed to bulge out, creating the impression of powerful, dynamic strength. Furthermore, the line extending from the upper character line to the rear fender broadens into a deep shoulder line with clearly delineated, sharp edges that further enhance the impression of dynamism.
A low and wide stance remains a distinctive aspect of the design and adds visual presence, while slimmer A-pillars positioned further forward afford greater visibility and interior space. The C-pillars also extend further rearwards to reinforce the flowing one-motion appearance.
The aerodynamic silhouette imparts the Civic with an upmarket, premium appearance, but it also brings commensurate benefits in terms of improved fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, greater high-speed handling and reduced interior noise.
One of the most notable features is the adoption of a new, flat underfloor, which significantly improves aerodynamic efficiency. This is complemented by strakes ahead of the front and rear wheels to help direct airflow around the tyres and wheel wells.
The radiator cooling ducts incorporated in the front bumper have also been revised for greater efficiency. All these measures result in a 3,8-percent reduction in drag (Cd).
Completely at odds with the usual trend of burgeoning vehicle size, the 2012 Civic actually features slightly more compact exterior dimensions than the model it replaces. Indeed, at 4 545 m, the new car is 15 mm shorter than the outgoing Civic, while the wheelbase has been reduced by 30 mm.
The width and height remain unchanged, but innovative packaging has resulted in marked improvements in terms of interior space and comfort. Thus, shoulder room has been increased by 75 mm, while there is 40 mm more rear legroom than before.
The cabin length to the back of the rear seat has been enhanced by 10 mm, while the luggage compartment now stands at 440 litres.