Honda boss demands shake-up in reaction to environmental concerns
27 October 2009

The next generation Honda Civic will be smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient than was originally planned, the company's chief of automotive operations has said.

However, the radical changes could delay the new car's launch, which was expected in late 2010. The Civic is crucial to Honda's line-up as its platform forms the basis for the CR-V, FR-V and Japan's Stream minivan.

the CR-V and Element, Japan's Stream small minivan and Europe's FR-V.

Speaking to Automotive News, Honda's Tsuneo Tanai said that Honda planned to downsize its next Civic platform, based on its own analysis of rising oil, steel and aluminum prices.

However, he has revealed that, following the economic downturn, Honda chief 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.

Initial designs planned for the next Civic to be larger than the current model, but now its exterior will be smaller, said Tanai. Instead, he claimed Honda hopes to create a perceived sense of increased roominess inside.

Ito refused to identify a target launch date for the new Civic, but said: ""The team is struggling. We are injecting more manpower to meet our target."

Tanai also revealed that Honda's focus is now on reducing weight on all its platforms and expanding its hybrid powertrain technology to more vehicle lines.

It also has added development of electric vehicles, which Honda initially opposed, to bump up the Honda fleet's fuel efficiency and lower its emissions.

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Our Verdict

Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is an impressive achievement and a worthy rival to the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, but it isn't quite up to class-leading standards

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Comments
23

27 October 2009

While the civic platform is used for the FR-V rumour has it that Honda won't bother with another one - if it does it'll be the conventional layout of 2,3,2 and might just be the Japanese Stream.

The civic definitely doesn't need to get any bigger, despite having not bloated as much as some cars in its class. If I was being asked by Honda for what I wanted from their next Civic (I've owned 2 Hondas, my parents own 2, my sister owns 1, my parents-in-law own 3) here's what I'd tell them.

1. Competetive pricing. You are not moving upmarket, you're just pricing out people who previously bought your cars.

2. Don't over-engine and under-engine. The current Civic has no engine that is "fine". It has an underpowered 1.4 (less so since the vtec replaced the dsi), an overpowered and unrefined 1.8 and a very expensive 2.2 diesel. People don't like underpowered cars, but a lot of people won't pay extra to get to 60mph in 8 seconds.

3. Actually employ some chassis engineers. The current civic is crap, the Jazz is only OK. The 99 Accord was actually really good, why can't Honda produce another car with a decent ride, controlled body-roll and excellent damping? Oh and MULTI-LINK. How could you not use that on the current Civic?????

4. We're not Americans. Please, please, PLEASE don't bring their dashboard and materials over to Europe. We'll pay extra, promise.

5. Road noise. Seriously, every other car manufacturer on this planet can produce a car that doesn't suffer from annoying levels of road noise. I have yet to drive a Honda car that doesn't piss me off on a bad surface and there are a lot that have annoyed me on a decent surface. It fatigues drivers, it feels cheap and it can't be needed.

6. You plan to reduce weight - good on you. Don't use marketing tricks like "carbon fibre roofs" though. Use high strength, low weight materials. Use the economies of scale to get these cheaply. Use them in your other products. If the chassis and every single component can be shaved of weight the savings will be enough to put in a smaller engine, smaller brakes, so less weight, so thinner everything else, so lower weight etc etc etc....

Have I missed anything?

27 October 2009

I concur with all the above but can add my old beef. Please please please can we see out of the next one. Nice to hear another manufacturer is thinking about downsizing and saving weight to produce a more efficient car though.

Oh is it me or has the "Old ?" Civic only been around for about 5 minutes though.

27 October 2009

[quote Old Toad]Nice to hear another manufacturer is thinking about downsizing and saving weight to produce a more efficient car [/quote]

Hear, hear!

27 October 2009

Is this report related to the Euro Civic or as I suspect the JDM Civic?

The JDM car is significantly bigger than the Euro model in the first place, and it makes sense for them to re-align the models.

Which ever way, hats off to Honda!

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

27 October 2009

JDM Civic=US Civic.

If they are going to make it smaller, than they need to add a good honest solid hatch to the mix for the US Market.

27 October 2009

[quote theonlydt]

3. Actually employ some chassis engineers. The current civic is crap, the Jazz is only OK. The 99 Accord was actually really good, why can't Honda produce another car with a decent ride, controlled body-roll and excellent damping?

5. Road noise. Seriously, every other car manufacturer on this planet can produce a car that doesn't suffer from annoying levels of road noise. I have yet to drive a Honda car that doesn't piss me off on a bad surface and there are a lot that have annoyed me on a decent surface. It fatigues drivers, it feels cheap and it can't be needed.

[/quote]

Absolutely spot on. I have just had a CR-V on demo for a few days. Performance, space, equipment - great. Handling excellent. Even warmed to the style. But ride? constant jarring really annoying. Its not difficult it just needs a small length of softer spring rate on top of the regular spring. My TomTom spent every trip nodding like one of those dogs. And the constant racket from the road! Our Kia Sportage is VASTLY more refined than the newer Honda, again surely simple for the great minds at Honda. The Kia has 3 inch deep carpet - it works!

Civic the same, shake, shake, shake, roar, roar, roar. I have an 06 Accord, same again thump, thump, thump, roar, roar, roar.

Supposedly the current Accord is much better insulated and the 2010 CR-V due anytime now also has improved insulation. It just feels like the cars were developed in computers and not on the road.

27 October 2009

[quote Autocar]The next generation Honda Civic will be smaller, lighter[/quote]

So - back to the future - the previous generation Civic was smaller and lighter ...

27 October 2009

There used to be a high standard of engineering and sportiness associated with the Honda badge, they had a line up of models like the Integra, CRX (older gen), Prelude etc. etc... These are the cars along with a then successful F1 team that helped Honda gain more respect from enthusiasts than compared to the likes of Toyota, Nissan etc..

Of course they had their range of dependable everyday family cars like the Civic, Accord etc. (also their lovely type R versions)

Today they just make cars that have no major edge over their rivals and are just over priced on a notion that they are moving up market. The likes of Hyundai and Kia are very close to them on most parameters. Leave out the type R and they dont have a single other real enthusiasts car.

27 October 2009

I don't see whats wrong with the current Civic. In my eyes, after the obvious Golf/ Focus, its the best car in the segment.

The engine line-up was poor when first launched but the recent addition of the 100bhp 1.4 VTEC linked up to the 6-speed box means there is now a good option for most buyers. The pricing and equipment levels are fair and competitive against the other cars in its class. It is fairly cheap to run and holds onto its value well. Also looks very pretty. What more could you want?

27 October 2009

[quote J400uk]I don't see whats wrong with the current Civic.[/quote]

I think what's wrong with the Civic has been put very well by theonlydt. It may be good, or even very good in some areas but the ride and refinement are aweful. If like me you spend alot of time in your car, these things are a major factor.

The only car in this class I'd consider at the moment is the Golf. Or maybe the Astra if it wasn't so expensive.

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