If you remember back to the 2015 New York Auto Show, Honda surprised guests with an unveiling of the 10th generation Honda Civic concept. The two-door was sprayed in a bright lime green, and many people didn’t expect the finished product to closely resemble the teaser vehicle. As it turns out, it does.
Honda debuted the official production coupe earlier this month, looking mighty similar to the concept, and even offers “Energy Green” as one of the colours. It represents phase two of a multi-prong rollout that started with the sedan last October, and will continue throughout the year to include a hatchback and more performance-oriented variants.
The Japanese automaker brought two people to the media launch to talk about the creation of the coupe — Guy Melville-Brown, lead exterior designer, and John Hwang, engineering development leader.
Melville-Brown started work on the vehicle in November 2011 at Honda R&D Americas’ Design Studio and talked about the high expectations that customers — in particular, Millennials — have.
“Today, impeccable designs are the norm. The 10th-gen would have to be something special. An epic Civic,” says Melville-Brown, who spoke about the importance of differentiating the coupe from the sedan and giving it sportier attributes such as a lower stance and more aggressive cockpit.
An interesting factoid: the whole process actually starts from the hip point, or seating position. If it’s too high, the driver can feel as though they’re behind the wheel of a bus.
“We lowered the floor of the car and repositioned engine,” he says, adding both the overall ride height and rear overhang are closer to the ground by one inch and 5.5 inches, respectively. In addition, the wheels have been pulled out, A-pillar moved closer to the center resulting in a longer hood, and rear fenders stretched wider.
There are three trims available: LX (starting at $19,455), coming with a 2.0-litre, 158-horsepower four-cylinder i-VTEC engine and optional manual transmission; EX-T ($24,555), packaged with a 1.5 L turbocharged four cylinder making 174 hp and CVT transmission; and a grade-topping Touring model ($27,555), that bundles extras like the Honda Sensing safety tech suite and navigation on top of the EX-T’s features.
The 2016 Honda Civic Coupe is available now.