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Geneva show: Honda hatches Civic reveal

Sporty rear: The Civic hatchback will be revealed at Geneva, but Honda is calling it a 'prototype'.

Tenth-gen Honda Civic hatchback to be showcased at Swiss motor show

11 Feb 2016

HONDA has announced that it will rip the covers off the hatchback version of its tenth-generation Civic at this year's Geneva motor show.

While the sedan version that made its debut in September last year is slated for a mid-2016 Australian launch, the hatchback is unlikely to make it Down Under this year and should arrive in the first part of 2017.

The Japanese car-maker has so far only released a sketch looking at the rear of the new-gen hatch, revealing a tail end that carries the design cues of its sedan sibling.

Honda is calling the Geneva show car a 'prototype' that will preview the look of the hatch, but it is unlikely to differ greatly from the production version that will be sold in global markets including the United States.

However, judging by the digital image, it will feature a sporty theme with twin central tailpipes and a massive rear diffuser, while there is an aerodynamic treatment where the roof meets the tailgate.

Its design could follow the Civic coupe concept's lead, which debuted at last year's New York motor show.

As previously reported, Honda is taking a different approach with the tenth-generation Civic sedan and hatch as they will be identical under the skin as opposed to the current model, which are not as closely related.

This means that Honda Australia will be able to source both body styles from the same Thai factory where the existing sedan comes from, while the hatch is imported from the United Kingdom.

The pair will therefore be offered with the same powertrains which, in US spec at least, includes a 2.0-litre i-VTEC four-cylinder unit matched with either a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine matched with a CVT that will sit under the bonnet of Australian-spec versions.

Honda Australia is already promoting the new Civic sedan on social media ahead of its mid-year launch, and the car-maker is expected to make a big splash in terms of marketing to hype its arrival.

This appears to be part of its promotional strategy that has created high-profile advertisements for the HR-V crossover and the refreshed CR-V SUV in the past 12 months.

Honda will be hoping for warmer reception from consumers for its new Civic compared with the current model, which has dramatically slipped in the sales charts in recent years.

It hit a high note in 2013 with 14,261 sales, outselling the likes of the Nissan Pulsar, Mitsubishi Lancer and Subaru Impreza, but sales almost halved in 2014 to 7878. Last year they dipped by 45 per cent over 2014 to 4326, to be leapfrogged by all three aforementioned rivals.

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