The Civic Hatchback Prototype, seen in this teaser sketch, will point to the styling of a new Civic due for launch early next year.
Clues to the design of the new car can be seen in the Civic saloon already on sale in the US. The prototype has the same tail-light design, although its central twin exhausts and revised roofline suggest the Geneva show car will have a sportier look.
Honda will use the new car to turn around its fortunes in Europe. The new five-door hatchback will replace today’s model, which has not made the market breakthrough for which Honda had hoped.
The new five-door Civic will be built at Honda’s Swindon plant, which has been running significantly below its capacity of 250,000 per year since 2009. Despite Swindon making just 119,000 Civics and CR-Vs last year, Honda confirmed earlier this year that it would make a fresh £200 million investment in the plant to allow for the production of the new Civic.
Swindon will be the sole global source for the Civic hatchback. Production of the CR-V, meanwhile, will shift to Canada.
There’s no news on whether Europe will again get an estate version of the Civic, but it seems relatively unlikely under Honda’s new policy of building global models.
Because the Mk10 European Civic is part of Honda’s global Civic programme, today’s highly distinctive layout - in which the fuel tank is mounted under the front seats, allowing for a deep rear luggage space - will be dropped.