When Honda revealed its stunning and grandparent-scaring Civic Hatchback Prototype earlier this year, I presumed the production version would never be as sharp, angular and downright extreme.
That’s because the Japanese brand has skewed toward conservatism with its exterior designs since, well, forever. There must be something wild in the Tokyo water supply, though, because this all-new Civic Hatchback is absolutely mental looking… in the best possible way.
The Civic Hatchback is more than just a sheep in wolf’s clothing (that’s a saying, right?); it’s performance matches its exterior styling.
The Hatchback is offered with only one engine: a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder. However, it’s offered in two different power output levels: either 174 horsepower (LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Sport Touring) or 180 horsepower (Sport and an all-new Sport Touring). That extra horsepower bump is backed by a high-flow center-mounted exhaust system that I hope will crackle and burble a bit.
What’s more, Honda will bolt either a “sporty” automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT) or a “sport-inspired” 6-speed manual gearbox. No matter the transmission, power will be routed down to the front wheels. In its most efficient form, the Hatchback is estimated to achieve an impressive 40 miles per gallon on the highway.
Civic Hatchback is more than just a sheep in wolf’s clothing
Thankfully, Honda has added a heap of tech to the Hatchback, too. Like the Civic Coupe, the Hatchback features a slew of advanced, semi-autonomous driver safety systems that fall under the Honda Sensing umbrella. They include Collision Mitigation Braking System, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning integrated with RDM and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow.
Lastly, mounted in the center dash is the Display Audio infotainment system powered by Android. And if you don’t like using Honda’s interface, you can plug your smartphone in and run either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
The 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback, which will be assembled in Swindon, England, will go on sale in the U.S. this fall.
Oh, and if you’re wondering: Yes, this is your first — albeit restrained — glimpse at the forthcoming all-new, high-performance Civic Type-R. And if you think this one looks powerful, you haven’t seen anything yet.