Ever since I was a child sometime in the late 1970’s to early 1980’s (yes, it was that long ago), I have looked forward to new generations of Honda Civic with the giddy enthusiasm as the return of Santa Claus at Christmas. This year was no different and let me say Santa’s little elves at Honda really outdid themselves with the 2012 Honda Civic Si Coupe and Sedan concept that was just unveiled at this year’s Detroit Auto Show.
As is the case with most Honda “concepts,” what you see in the attached photos is pretty much what you are going to get when you see the production 2012 Honda Civic with a few small changes to things like wheel design and tire sizes. However do expect to see the same sporty, center mounted exhaust design once the production Si coupe arrives at dealerships sometime this spring.
The exact timing for the launch of each Civic variant is as of yet unknown but confirmed for production are the usual Si variants in sedan and coupe form, the mainstream gas powered models, a new hybrid variant with lithium ion batteries (a first for a Honda hybrid) and a model powered solely by natural gas. Availability of the natural gas powered Civic will be more widespread when this 9th generation Civic finally goes on sale in full around the country.
Honda promises that the 2012 Honda Civic will be even more fuel efficient for the 2012 model year thanks to the use of Eco-Assist technology across the range. This system is currently used in the CR-Z and Insight models but will be the first time any purely gas powered car has been equipped with the system.
The current 8th generation Civic model has sold over 1.5 million units since its launch in late 2005 so a lot is riding on the success of this new variant. Although it is still unknown as to whether there will be any changes to the steering or handling for this new model, I assume Honda isn’t planning to dumb down the “Honda-ness” for 2012 like VW so unfortunately did with the “European” handling of the 2011 Jetta.
John Mendel, Honda’s executive vice president of sales, had this to say when introducing the 2012 Civic, “The Civic is known for providing a balance of ‘just-right’ packaging, fun-to-drive character and outstanding fuel economy, at a price that even first-time buyers can afford. The redesigned Civic builds on this legacy and promises to be the best Civic yet.”
Honda did not show off the interior of the latest Civic but I expect it should keep the same two tiered dashboard design of the 8th generation with some other significant alterations. Honda Civic models have always been masterful works of interior packaging and space efficiency so don’t expect that to change much.
If you want to check out some spy shots of the new Civic’s interior, go to Templeof Vtec.net which is the premiere resource for anyone who is obsessive about their love of all things Honda and Acura. No doubt the denizens of this website’s hugely entertaining forums are already eagerly discussing their views of the 9th generation Civic concept.
Honda touted the notion that the 2012 Civic is a car “for the people,” which is a tag-line that dates back all the way to the launch of the first generation model. Given the fact that Honda introduced the 2012 Civic amidst video footage of their Civic Nation tour which has featured acts like Blink-182 and Paramore, this model is probably more of a “car for the cool people.”
Honda also went so far as to have Pete Wentz (from the band Fall out Boy) introduce a new Civic contest that you can sign up for on the 2012 Civic’s Facebook page. This car is so cool it already even has a Facebook page. Let’s just hope that you are cool enough to be Facebook friends with it.
Just looking at the 2012 Civic Sedan and Si Coupe concept you have to feel sorry for models like the Toyota Corolla and the rather bland VW Jetta. Even the admittedly excellent looking 2012 Ford Focus and 2011 Hyundai Elantra both seem like also-rans in comparison. Honda really hit one out of the park with the styling of the 2012 Civic.
So what do you think of the 2012 Honda Civic Sedan and Si Coupe concepts? I personally cannot wait for the day when I finally get some behind the wheel time of the production Honda Civic in all of its many fun to drive forms. The Civic, more than most compact cars, is a vehicle built “by the people (manufactured in the United States or Canada) and for the people.” How so, you ask?
Few cars appeal to as wide a demographic as the Honda Civic with both young and old Americans buying this vehicle in record numbers over the course of 8 hugely successful generations. This 9th generation Civic looks poised to build even further on this legacy and I, for one, couldn’t be any more excited about it. It looks like Christmas came early for me this year.