Honda’s next-generation Civic will be based around the platform design of its little brother, the Jazz. Protoypes of the next Civic, shown above in our artist’s impression, have been running in Europe ahead of a potential on-sale date of spring ’06, disguised as lengthened versions of the Jazz.
The Jazz’s versatile configuration will also make an appearance in the new Civic. Positioning the fuel tank beneath the front seats frees up plenty of interior space, which would also enable Honda to build a more practical IMA hybrid version. The current Civic IMA’s battery eats into boot space and prevents the rear seats from folding. A clever folding rear seat should also carry over from the Jazz (right). The tip-and-fold seats allow a variety of different luggage and seat combinations.
The decision to use the Jazz’s structure puts paid to speculation that the Civic could share a platform with the new FR-V MPV and CR-V 4x4. The current Civic is three-years old now, and received a mid-life facelift this year, but Honda’s move to five-year model cycles should mean the all-new car arrives early 2006, after a first public airing at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show next September.