Honda’s next-generation Civic has been spied during early development testing in Germany.
Originally due this year, but delayed until late next year after a rethink, the new Civic is said to be lighter and more economical than the car it replaces, in line with Honda’s new strategy.
Following the economic downturn, Honda CEO Takanobu Ito ordered a complete re-evaluation of Honda's plans, killing its V8 and rear-wheel-drive programmes and demanding revamps of all existing designs.
Ito has not identified a target launch date for the new Civic, but said: "The team is struggling. We are injecting more manpower to meet our target."
European models will have petrol, diesel and hybrid power; the latter will use next-gen lithium ion batteries to increase range and improve performance.