This year’s Geneva Motor Show is hotly anticipated for launches and announcements; among these will be the latest Honda Civic Prototype model. In view of the new model announcement, we’re taking a look back through the history of the Honda Civic, highlighting some of its particularly high-standard best bits over the years.
Originally launched in 1972, the Honda Civic was initially built as a subcompact hatchback model and featured entirely different aesthetics to the later generation models. However, as the first-generation model’s four-cylinder water-cooled engine could run on both leaded and unleaded fuel, it became a popular choice for the consumer market.
It wasn’t until 1991 that a new bodystyle was introduced with the fifth-generation of the Honda Civic when it was given more aerodynamic styling. Overall, this variant of the Civic has remained popular across the board to this day.
Of course, those who are motorsports fans will know that Honda has been a serious competitor in the racing world, thanks in no small part to the Civic Type R model. This car has been one of the most stand-alone models from the manufacturer and remains a firm favourite with commercial buyers.
The Honda Civic Type R is the highest-performer of all the models made by the company; featuring a light body, a powerful engine and an upgrade to the brakes and chassis, it outperforms most other subcompacts in its category.
The Type R based its first-generation model on the sixth-generation of the EK Civic and it was introduced to the market in August 1997 as the EK9 model. As a high-performance car, the EK9 boasted a powerful 1.6-litre engine with an output of 182bhp, which was particularly impressive considering the model’s unit was naturally-aspirated.
The second-generation of this model was released four years later in 2001. It’s most acclaimed variant was the EDM EP3 Civic Type R, which took home several Hot Hatch of the Year awards. It was a popular choice for mainstream drivers but it also signalled the Japanese brand’s return to Formula One performance.
Still chasing accolades, this year the Civic Type R has ranked in the top five for the World Performance Car of the Year 2016. This is the first time that Honda has made it into the final of this prestigious competition however, last year the Type R won the award for Scottish Car of the Year in November and secured success with the drivers and constructors titles in the British Touring Car Championship.
The latest Type R is referred to as a race car for the road, as it features the most powerful engine this model has ever seen. It is powered by a direct-injected turbocharged 2.0-litre VTEC TURBO petrol engine, producing an output of 306bhp and peak torque of 400Nm.
Having said that, the Civic hasn’t solely been known for its race car credentials, as it has hit the mainstream market with saloon, coupe and tourer models. In fact, a new Civic Tourer was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2013 that turned several heads.
The appearance of the 2013 Tourer was sleek and it remains a versatile and functional model with a huge amount of boot space, thanks to collapsible rear seats. Although this seems a far cry from the sporty nature of Honda, the model is still a powerful performer. Available with a choice of two engines, at the time it featured a new 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine from the Earth Dreams Technology series and a 1.8-litre i-VTEC engine, with either manual or automatic transmission.
The newest variant from the Honda Civic range will see its global premiere next month in Geneva with its Hatchback Prototype.
The launch of the model will act as a preview and will show only the exterior design of the all-new hatchback model, which is expected to come on to the market early next year. The Clarity Fuel Cell will also debut at Geneva, showcasing the world’s first production fuel cell saloon to house an entire fuel cell powertrain under the bonnet.
It’s expected that the fuel cell will see the new prototype manage a range of up to 435 miles, which is a best-in-class achievement.
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