Hats off to Honda for throwing away the typical ‘Euro- car’ mould and giving us the new Civic.
When the first pictures were released, the phones at Honda started ringing in praise of the new look and I was one of those adding my voice to the chorus.
In the past, the Civic has been labelled an ‘old man’s car’. Although anyone who has driven the Type R would vehemently disagree however, that and the clever IMA apart, the old Civic wasn’t going to set the world on fire. It was safe, comfortable and a bit conservative.
The new one however, is likely to frighten the horses. Wide and squat with unusual full-width lenses front and back, the Civic is unmistakable on the road. “I wanted to break with conventional methodology, to achieve a breakthrough in design that would make all other cars look like they were from the last generation.” says Yoshiyuki Matsumoto, who was Senior Chief Engineer of Honda R&D at the time the new car came to the drawing board. He achieved his goal.
The Civic has a coupe look about it, enhanced by the rear door handles, which are set into the window frame, while the front door handles look like they have fallen off of Flash Gordon’s space ship. Underneath the front lens are triangular fog lamps integrated into the deep front skirt and bumper and these are echoed at the back by the two triangular exhaust pipes.
Above the sparkling rear light cluster and lens, the rear window is divided into two sections by an integrated spoiler. The top part is curved so that the rain runs off and the lower section has a water repellent coating that is meant to do away with the need for a rear wiper. It doesn’t quite work that way and while it looks good from the outside, the constant view of the spoiler in the rear-view mirror can be an irritation.
This is a 15-year+ news article, from our Honda archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
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