The ninth-generation of Honda’s compact Civic is already on the road in North America, but the European version won’t be available until early 2012. Honda is showing off the five-door hatchback – which won’t be available in our corner of the world – at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Unlike other automakers, Honda is developing this iteration of the new Civic specifically for European customers with its suspension tuned for the region’s diverse roads.
Although the Civic has been discontinued in its home market the initial research and development of the Euro version began in Japan. The development team went to Europe to finalize the car’s suspension tune on the continent’s fast highways and cobblestone back roads. Honda claims that consulting with European colleagues and external experts on the suspension tuning improved the ride and handling of the new Civic two generations beyond the current car.
“Every time we visited Europe during the development of the car, we achieved significant improvements in the ride and handling, tuning the car for the local demands,” says Kazuo Sunaoshi, Development Leader – Chassis, in a press release. “The new Civic is not just an evolution. In terms of ride quality, we have taken a major step forwards, equivalent to two generations of development.”
Honda says it kept the compact torsion beam rear suspension from the current Civic to improve interior room. The suspension development team improved body control and stability at high speeds by increasing the wall thickness of the torsion beam and diameter of the rear stabilizer bar. New fluid-filled compliance bushings in the rear suspension are said to increase overall ride comfort and handling.
Honda has confirmed that its Swindon, UK plant, Honda UK Manufacturing (HUM), will build the new European bound Civic hatchback and next-generation CR-V.
“Our Associates are all really excited to be producing the next generation of Civic here at Swindon,” says Mark Trowbridge, Director of Quality and New Model at HUM, in a press release. “The next six months will be busy, as we ramp up to full production following the training and trial builds of the new car.”
Source: Honda UK