Honda's new Civic will feature improved ride quality and class-leading interior space

Honda is promising a “two generation” step in ride quality in its all-new UK and European designed and engineered Honda Civic.

Set to go on sale in early 2012 after a Frankfurt motor show debut next month, the ninth-generation Civic is also claimed to offer class-leading interior space and dramatic increases in quality and comfort levels.

The current Civic’s ride quality has been much criticised since its 2006 launch. Despite key rivals using fully independent, sophisticated multi-link systems for the rear suspension, Honda has retained the torsion beam rear suspension set-up for the new car.

The new Honda Civic’s development leader, Mitsuru Kariya, claims body rigidity has been greatly improved and the torsion beam strengthened to provide more stable handling at higher speeds. The torsion beam was retained, says Kariya, as its compact design allows cabin space to be maximised.

Chief among the new Civic’s rear suspension developments is an innovative fluid-filled compliance bushing that Kariya claims improves ride performance and handling.

The disguised pictures of this Civic mule testing in Europe reveal an evolution of the current Civic’s shape for the new car although the boot appears to be in the saloon-come-hatchback style of the Skoda Octavia.

Autocar understands the Civic is to finally get the small-capacity diesel it desperately needs in the diesel-orientated family hatchback segment. Honda is currently developing a 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine in Japan. Petrol engines are expected to include new, more powerful and economical versions of today’s 1.4 and 1.8 units.

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