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Geneva Report from TOV News
 Date: March 02, 2005 22:00
 Submitted by:  JeffX
 Source: TOV News
 Credibility Rating: N/A


Update: A representative of Honda's European Press Office responded to some of Daniel's points below.

Daniel Garcia, TOV's European News Editor, attended the Geneva Motor Show yesterday. Unfortunately due to a train delay, he arrived late for the actual unveiling of the 2006 Civic 5-door, but he did manage to snap lots of photographs and he also spoke with the designer of the 2006 5-door Civic Concept that made its debut yesterday. A gallery of photos from Geneva is available in this article. Following is the report filed by Daniel:


Although we did not have the equipment to make a proper video interview, we did talk with Mr. Toshiyuki Okumoto, Assistant Chief Designer in charge of the new Civic design.

As usual, it was impossible to learn any substantial information regarding the drivetrain, or anything related to the actual production version of the Civic, which will be unveiled at the Frankfurt show in September. But both Mr. Toshiyuki and Mr. Tatsuya (David) Lida, Assistant Manager from Honda Japan, were very kind to answer all our questions regarding this concept’s styling.

I asked Mr. Toshiyuki what were the main ideas around which the new Civic was designed. His response was, “We wanted to give it a sporty and high-tech look”. I think there is little doubt that they have succeeded in both aspects.

You can already see from the photos that when Mr Fukui spoke about the next generation Civic having more emotional styling, it was no joke. This concept is really aggressive, from any point of view. I have to admit that I was quite surprised with it, especially considering that the style of the last two generations of Civics has been a little bland. Whether it suits your tastes or not, the 8th generation Civic will be a car that will turn many heads around town; something not so common in the compact class.

From my perspective as an enthusiast I have to say that I just love it, and I am amazed at how appealing and aggressive a 5-door hatch with a short nose can look. It looks so aggressive that it may lose some Civic buyers of the past, which means families and females. Regarding this point, Mr. Toshiyuki said that this car is no longer the “good for everybody” approach of the past Civics. It had been designed to suit people that are really looking for a sporty driver’s car which is still highly functional. Mr. Tatsuya added that people who were looking for a more functional and family oriented car have the FR-V. The Civic will take a new direction and position itself in the premium sports oriented market.

It is true that the Civic has become wider and lower, but overall, some may argue that it still has a minivan like styling. In fact, when I asked Mr. Toshiyuki about what he liked the most about his design, he told me that the best thing was that you could just draw the shape of the car in a single stroke. Mr. Toshiyuki seemed quite young, and I think that you can see this youth reflected in the car. For him there is no way this car could be seen as a minivan.

I don’t remember a Honda car with so much emphasis on exterior styling. The attention paid to every detail is astounding, and the overall impression is more as if you were looking at a futuristic prototype than a production car. However, Mr. Toshiyuki and Mr. Tatsuya told me that this concept styling is as close to production as one can be. Even the tailpipes should make it to the road version. In fact, I believe that apart from the bigger wheels and brakes, you are looking at the 5 door 2006 European model Civic. Of course I could not get any confirmation from them (nothing about the production model).

I remembered then the TOV interview with Mr. Jon Ikeda, about the TL concept styling. I remember that he said that the TL had been designed outside-in. With the past generation Civic, Honda said that the opposite has been done. So, I was wondering how they came to this new Civic styling. The answer was surprising.

Mr. Toshiyuki told me that with this car, the approach was doing both interior and exterior at the same time. That it was more like a team working together than two separated groups, one on the inside and another one on the outside. That is the only clue about what the Civic interior will look like, just as sporty and high tech as the outside.

I was also told that although the car had been designed in Japan, it has been conceived to meet European standards and tastes.

To sum up with the Civic, It is said that the 8th generation is the first child of Mr. Fukui’s era. If that is true, I believe we enthusiasts have amazing years to come. Mr. Tatsuya told me that things were changing at Honda, that they wanted to regain their place in the industry, and that we were already seeing those changes (we spoke about the current European Accord, the new Legend, FR-V and now the new Civic). This Civic really looks like nothing on the road today, and it shall remain unique for some time, since their closest rivals have just redesigned their cars (VW Golf, Renault Meganne, Ford Focus). It is quite clear that Honda is taking a risky path, and that they are not looking for Ford Focus buyers. Time will show if they are right or wrong.

Apart from the Civic, I spoke with Mr. Tatsuya about Honda in Europe. For some time, we have considered ourselves as Honda’s forgotten child, looking to both sides for the amazing cars of Japan and the US, and waiting our turn. We do have a CTR, but we dream about the JDM one, the Integra/RSX, the TL, and also all the new JDM minivans (Elysion and Odyssey). He told me that Honda was now determined to introduce them in Europe, and that they were going to put the resources needed, but also that they were doing it step by step, because there was not much sense in flooding the market at once. This year Honda sales were up more than 17%, and they are looking for a similar performance in 2005.

I would like to take this opportunity thank both Mr. Tatsuya and Mr. Toshiyuki for their time and the attention they have paid to me.

After some time, I also managed to speak with Honda Press staff from Europe, which was much more profitable from an insider point of view. The main points that they were willing to discuss with me were:

  1. There will be a 3-door version, but it will come later, and will be almost identical to the 5-door one. (Right now the 3 and 5 door Civics have different size and style).
  2. Although it is still uncertain that the US-built Civic Coupe may come to Europe, he felt that this car had a great potentitial, and that his group had requested a version of the coupe to be sold in their market. That could be Honda's answer to European enthusiasts, and fill the place left by the Prelude and the Integra.
  3. The Civic is really going upscale, and there will be nothing under 140Hp. SOHC VTEC engines will not be available anymore, and there will be no smaller Diesel engine than the current 2.2L. When the past generation Civic was released, there were only 3 petrol versions (90Hp, 110Hp, and 200Hp for the CTR), and one Diesel version of 100Hp derived from Isuzu.
  4. There won’t be a direct injection i-VTEC engine for Europe, since gasoline quality is so poor in most countries (the sulphur content is too high).
  5. The new Civic IMA will arrive in Europe in spring 2006. It will be the sedan version sold in North America and have a new generation IMA powertrain based on an i-VTEC engine, with significantly more power than the current version. But it should remain affordable (it is not a top of the range model as the Accord IMA in the US). From a styling point of view he told me: “just think about the Civic Si concept with 4 doors”.
  6. They still knew little about the R version, but there will be a new Civic Type R for Europe. They would only say that it will have at least 200Hp, maybe more, but nothing sure, and it will be fitted with the same safety equipment as the rest of the Civic line-up. So it’s fairly certain that this new Type R will be heavier than the current generation. Hearing the Honda man, I am not sure that the new R will really have a pure R treatment. In any case, it will be a three door.
  7. So far, there are no plans to bring any hatch to North America but, “there were not any plans to bring the past Civic Si hatch either”. In any case, given the new European Civic's direction, it would be difficult to integrate it in the NA Civic line-up. If it finally arrives to NA, it will be more likely as an Acura, and would be a 3 door hatch. But please, note that this is merely speculation on my part – the Honda rep did not know anything apart from the fact that so far Honda is not bringing a hatch to NA.
  8. He confirmed to me that what we could see behind the tinted glass was the production interior. In fact, almost everything was hidden, but from what I could see (sorry, no pics), I can tell you that “high-tech” is the best word to describe it. So if you were surprised by the exterior design, I bet you’ll be shocked when the interior comes to light. If anything, it reminded me most of the 4th generation prelude.
  9. There is no way that the Legend will have IMA under the bonnet when it arrives to Europe, and there is little chance we’ve seen anything different from the 3.5L which is now available in Japan and the US. In contrast, the European spec Legend will have almost all the features of the JDM version (apart from the Intelligent Night Vision System). The Legend of the Honda stand seemed already fitted with everything, including voice recognition, card-key entrance, CMS, HIDS, cooled front seats, and so on. I have to say that I was really impressed by the interior of the new Legend, and that after spending a day sitting on many luxury sedans, it has little to envy to any of them, but this is a personal opinion.



Response from Honda EU Press Office:
  1. There will be a 3-door version, but it will come later, and will be almost identical to the 5-door one. (Right now the 3 and 5 door Civics have different size and style).
    Honda EU: Right now all we can say is that there will be a 3 door variant coming later

  2. Although it is still uncertain that the US-built Civic Coupe may come to Europe, he felt that this car had a great potentitial, and that his group had requested a version of the coupe to be sold in their market. That could be Honda's answer to European enthusiasts, and fill the place left by the Prelude and the Integra.
    Honda EU: The Coupe is currently not planned to be introduced in Europe.

  3. The Civic is really going upscale, and there will be nothing under 140Hp. SOHC VTEC engines will not be available anymore, and there will be no smaller Diesel engine than the current 2.2L. When the past generation Civic was released, there were only 3 petrol versions (90Hp, 110Hp, and 200Hp for the CTR), and one Diesel version of 100Hp derived from Isuzu.
  4. There won’t be a direct injection i-VTEC engine for Europe, since gasoline quality is so poor in most countries (the sulphur content is too high).
    Honda EU: As regards to both points 3 and 4, we will be giving further information about the petrol engine line up in the very near future. At the moment what we can say is that the 2.2 i-CTDi engine will form part of the engine line up.

  5. The new Civic IMA will arrive in Europe in spring 2006. It will be the sedan version sold in North America and have a new generation IMA powertrain based on an i-VTEC engine, with significantly more power than the current version. But it should remain affordable (it is not a top of the range model as the Accord IMA in the US). From a styling point of view he told me: “just think about the Civic Si concept with 4 doors”.
    Honda EU: There is no comment that we can make at this stage as regards to the styling of the 4 door.

  6. They still knew little about the R version, but there will be a new Civic Type R for Europe. They would only say that it will have at least 200Hp, maybe more, but nothing sure, and it will be fitted with the same safety equipment as the rest of the Civic line-up. So it’s fairly certain that this new Type R will be heavier than the current generation. Hearing the Honda man, I am not sure that the new R will really have a pure R treatment. In any case, it will be a three door.
    Honda EU: The current situation is that there will be a Civic 3 door Type R if there is a demand for it.

  7. So far, there are no plans to bring any hatch to North America but, “there were not any plans to bring the past Civic Si hatch either”. In any case, given the new European Civic's direction, it would be difficult to integrate it in the NA Civic line-up. If it finally arrives to NA, it will be more likely as an Acura, and would be a 3 door hatch. But please, note that this is merely speculation on my part – the Honda rep did not know anything apart from the fact that so far Honda is not bringing a hatch to NA.
    Honda EU: At this stage there are no plans to bring the hatchback models to the US market.

  8. He confirmed to me that what we could see behind the tinted glass was the production interior. In fact, almost everything was hidden, but from what I could see (sorry, no pics), I can tell you that “high-tech” is the best word to describe it. So if you were surprised by the exterior design, I bet you’ll be shocked when the interior comes to light. If anything, it reminded me most of the 4th generation Prelude.
    Honda EU: The Concept car on display is a mock up. If you could actually see through the tinted glass you would see a mock up of the top of the instrument panel only. There were no seats in the mock up.

  9. There is no way that the Legend will have IMA under the bonnet when it arrives to Europe, and there is little chance we’ve seen anything different from the 3.5L which is now available in Japan and the US. In contrast, the European spec Legend will have almost all the features of the JDM version (apart from the Intelligent Night Vision System). The Legend of the Honda stand seemed already fitted with everything, including voice recognition, card-key entrance, CMS, HIDS, cooled front seats, and so on. I have to say that I was really impressed by the interior of the new Legend, and that after spending a day sitting on many luxury sedans, it has little to envy to any of them, but this is a personal opinion.
    Honda EU: The final specifications for the European Legend have not been finalized, but it is planned to be equipped with CMBS and a host of other new technologies.


Over 100 photos available in the TOV's 2005 Geneva Photo Gallery!


Last edited by JeffX on March 08, 2005 20:01

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Date Subject User
03-14-2005 15:19
AutoExpress pic from above   (Score: 1, Normal)
tmkarab
04-30-2005 02:56
Re: AutoExpress pic from above   (Score: 1, Normal)
silver waja
04-07-2005 08:09
Sorry - SOHC VTEC engines MAY be available in 06Euro Civic   (Score: 1, Normal)
danielgr
03-04-2005 11:58
Maybe the NA-market Civic will get DI?   (Score: 1, Normal)
RayChuang
03-08-2005 17:25
Re: Maybe the NA-market Civic will get DI?   (Score: 1, Normal)
KenB
03-08-2005 18:11
Re: Maybe the NA-market Civic will get DI?   (Score: 1, Normal)
danielgr
03-09-2005 10:46
Re: Maybe the NA-market Civic will get DI?   (Score: 1, Normal)
RayChuang
03-09-2005 11:20
Re: Maybe the NA-market Civic will get DI?   (Score: 1, Normal)
danielgr
03-09-2005 17:07
Re: Maybe the NA-market Civic will get DI?   (Score: 1, Normal)
bref
03-10-2005 08:08
Re: Maybe the NA-market Civic will get DI?   (Score: 1, Normal)
danielgr
03-10-2005 13:28
Re: Maybe the NA-market Civic will get DI?   (Score: 1, Normal)
bref
03-17-2005 19:19
Re: Maybe the NA-market Civic will get DI?   (Score: 1, Normal)
howlinbjk
03-09-2005 19:58
Hatch for Canada?   (Score: 1, Normal)
Atomic Frog
03-10-2005 02:17
Re: Hatch for Canada?   (Score: 1, Normal)
Turkle
03-16-2005 01:40
Re: Hatch for Canada?   (Score: 1, Normal)
howlinbjk
03-05-2005 11:04
This car looks suspiciously Acurish!!!!!!!!   (Score: 1, Normal)
Acura Type S'in
03-06-2005 10:54
Re: This car looks suspiciously Acurish!!!!!!!!   (Score: 1, Normal)
blue99si
03-06-2005 13:40
Re: This car looks suspiciously Acurish!!!!!!!!   (Score: 1, Normal)
Acura Type S'in
03-06-2005 11:03
Re: This car looks suspiciously Acurish!!!!!!!!   (Score: 1, Normal)
TR
03-07-2005 08:58
Re: This car looks suspiciously Acurish!!!!!!!!   (Score: 1, Normal)
blue99si
03-07-2005 10:50
Re: This car looks suspiciously Acurish!!!!!!!!   (Score: 1, Normal)
duncan
03-07-2005 10:56
Re: This car looks suspiciously Acurish!!!!!!!!   (Score: 1, Normal)
duncan
03-08-2005 13:03
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blue99si
03-08-2005 13:18
Re: This car looks suspiciously Acurish!!!!!!!!   (Score: 1, Normal)
JeffX
03-08-2005 13:55
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duncan
03-08-2005 14:02
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03-08-2005 14:07
Re: This car looks suspiciously Acurish!!!!!!!!   (Score: 1, Normal)
duncan
03-10-2005 02:32
Re: This car looks suspiciously Acurish!!!!!!!!   (Score: 1, Normal)
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03-10-2005 06:24
Re: This car looks suspiciously Acurish!!!!!!!!   (Score: 1, Normal)
IntegraDC5R
03-15-2005 01:16
Re: This car looks suspiciously Acurish!!!!!!!!   (Score: 1, Normal)
racy lude
03-13-2005 00:53
Honda Legend in N.A.?   (Score: 1, Normal)
Crossup
03-14-2005 15:41
Re: Honda Legend in N.A.?   (Score: 1, Normal)
JeffreynLA
03-14-2005 17:43
Re: Honda Legend in N.A.?   (Score: 1, Normal)
Crossup
03-13-2005 09:25
DW in front again?   (Score: 1, Normal)
RoadRunner
03-13-2005 10:38
Re: DW in front again? -> It won't happen   (Score: 1, Normal)
danielgr
03-13-2005 12:03
Re: DW in front again? -> It won't happen   (Score: 1, Normal)
RoadRunner
03-13-2005 13:19
Re: DW in front again? -> It won't happen   (Score: 1, Normal)
danielgr
03-14-2005 06:23
Re: DW in front again? -> It won't happen   (Score: 1, Normal)
RoadRunner
03-03-2005 10:20
Takeo san is THE MAN!!!!!   (Score: 1, Normal)
RoadRunner
03-10-2005 19:10
Re: Takeo san is THE MAN!!!!!   (Score: 1, Normal)
mightymark
03-03-2005 04:33
2006 Civic   (Score: 1, Normal)
Mike Sanders
03-10-2005 12:05
FORGET EUROPE.... N AMERICA!!!!   (Score: 1, Normal)
tony shim
03-02-2005 23:18
Front grille/headlights   (Score: 1, Normal)
okaplan
03-03-2005 08:45
Re: Front grille/headlights   (Score: 1, Normal)
RoadRunner
03-03-2005 09:29
Re: Front grille/headlights   (Score: 1, Normal)
honda2112
03-03-2005 10:04
Re: Front grille/headlights   (Score: 1, Normal)
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03-03-2005 15:50
Re: Front grille/headlights   (Score: 1, Normal)
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03-03-2005 16:54
Re: Front grille/headlights   (Score: 1, Normal)
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03-04-2005 17:21
Re: Front grille/headlights   (Score: 1, Normal)
CivicB18
03-03-2005 11:18
Re: Front grille/headlights - Pedestrian protection   (Score: 1, Normal)
danielgr
03-10-2005 02:44
Re: Front grille/headlights - Pedestrian protection   (Score: 1, Normal)
Turkle
03-10-2005 08:06
Re: Front grille/headlights - Pedestrian protection   (Score: 1, Normal)
danielgr
03-10-2005 10:39
Re: Front grille/headlights - Pedestrian protection   (Score: 1, Normal)
RayChuang
03-09-2005 13:24
British Press Love The New Civic   (Score: 1, Normal)
sennahonda
03-09-2005 14:12
Re: British Press Love The New Civic   (Score: 1, Normal)
danielgr
03-10-2005 07:07
Re: British Press Love The New Civic   (Score: 1, Normal)
RoadRunner
03-02-2005 23:15
Interior   (Score: 1, Normal)
okaplan
03-03-2005 00:23
Re: Interior   (Score: 1, Normal)
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03-03-2005 02:13
Re: Interior   (Score: 1, Normal)
okaplan
03-03-2005 11:06
Re: Interior   (Score: 1, Normal)
danielgr
03-03-2005 15:29
Re: Interior   (Score: 1, Normal)
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03-03-2005 21:44
Re: Interior   (Score: 1, Normal)
silver waja
03-08-2005 19:49
Re: Interior   (Score: 1, Normal)
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03-04-2005 06:49
Re: Interior   (Score: 1, Normal)
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03-04-2005 07:56
Re: Interior   (Score: 1, Normal)
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03-05-2005 11:12
4 door   (Score: 1, Normal)
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03-08-2005 19:45
Re: 4 door   (Score: 1, Normal)
danielgr
03-06-2005 20:35
Honda Legend/Acura RL headlights   (Score: 1, Normal)
EJazz_iVTEC
03-03-2005 03:29
Nice Geneva coverage   (Score: 1, Normal)
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03-03-2005 11:14
Re: Nice Geneva coverage   (Score: 1, Normal)
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03-03-2005 11:34
Re: Nice Geneva coverage   (Score: 1, Normal)
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