We may have only just gotten the facelift to the 10th-generation Honda Civic in Malaysia this year, but a successor is already well on the horizon. The Japanese carmaker revealed the 2022 Honda Civic Prototype in North America via a Twitch stream earlier today. And the 11th-generation model previewed by the prototype is scheduled to go on sale there towards the latter end of spring next year, meaning a production-ready model should surface by the middle of 2021.
In the meantime, the Civic Prototype already looks like a close-to-finished product that's surprisingly more conservative than the current model, nicknamed the 'Civic Ketam' in our neck of the woods due to its crab pincer-like taillights. Honda touts a "thin and light" design as per the brand's "Man-maximum, Machine-minimum" philosophy, so we can expect a roomier cabin to go with the clean design. If the front end looks a tad longer than the usual C-segment fare, that's because it has been elongated "for a more premium side view". The bulk of the cabin has been moved rearwards to enhance this effect, and the A-pillars have been swept closer to the driver for better vision; the wing mirrors have been relocated to the doors for the same purpose.
Although no information about engines is available at present, Honda has hinted at an "even sportier, fun-to-drive chassis and more powerful and fuel-efficient powertrains". The 11th-generation Civic's supposedly safer, Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure supposedly brings with it added driving refinement, ride quality and sporty handling as well. And there's a wider track in place in the rear which should make for better handling and a more dynamic stance towards the back.
Inside, Honda's shift towards minimalistic aesthetics is obvious. The relatively flat and clean dash is kind of a medley between what we've seen in the latest Honda Accord and Honda e. But the real visual centrepiece is the air-conditioning panel towards the passenger's end; an long, uninterrupted vent designed in a similar vein to certain Volkswagen and Audi interiors. Speaking of centrepieces, the infotainment is a nine-inch full-HD touchscreen which will grant passengers access to the aforementioned firsts in on-board tech we can expect from Honda once the 2022 Civic goes on sale.
Honda Sensing is also part of the deal, though that has come to be expected in new Hondas of this day and age. What we didn't quite expect, in a pleasant surprise kind of way, is the 11th-generation Civic's line-up. Honda has confirmed that a hatchback variant will come shortly after the sedan is launched in 2021, followed by North America's staple Civic SI. However, the best is saved for last, with an 11th-generation Civic Type R confirmed for the market once the passenger-oriented models are all accounted for.
It remains to be seen which body style the next-gen Honda Civic Type R will be offered in. But based on what we've seen with the sedan prototype so far, what do you reckon is the best format for Honda's trademark performance car?