When Honda’s redesigned 2012 Civic goes on sale in April, the Japanese automaker won’t waste any time ensuring it hits the ground running. Unlike previous roll-outs where Honda waited to launch certain trim levels, engines, or body styles, all variants of the 2012 Civic will be immediately available within a few weeks of its debut.
According to Honda, the company that debuted a concept version of the 2012 Civic at last week’s Detroit auto show, variants of the ninth-generation Civic will include a hybrid, high-performance Si model, and natural gas version, as well as several engines and both coupe and sedan body styles.
“Unlike past Civic rollouts, Honda will launch every variety of the 2012 within weeks of each other,” said John Mendel, American Honda’s executive vice president for sales. Mendel previously said the new Civic would offer “a balance of ‘just-right’ packaging, fun-to-drive character, and outstanding fuel economy, at a price that even first-time buyers can afford.”
The new Civic – whose sleek concept versions were among the most important cars shown in Detroit due to the model’s popularity – will not only roll out faster than prior models, it will bring the Civic back to its basic roots of inexpensive, roomy mainstream transportation.
“When you get in [the current] car, it isn’t roomy enough to be a Civic,” said Vicki Poponi, Honda’s assistant vice president of product planning. “That was what our focus was, getting back to where we once were: compact, yet surprisingly roomy.”
Although Honda has been tight-lipped with details and pricing for the 2012 Civic, drastic changes from today’s model are unlikely. Most current models use a 140-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder, with starting prices ranging from $15,000 to around $25,000 – figures which can easily escalate to $30,000 for the popular Civic Hybrid.
With an immediate rollout, Honda will be able to get Civic sales off the ground quickly – important for the high-volume small car consistently ranked among the best-selling cars in the United States. The current Civic, released for 2006, saw a considerably more drawn-out launch, with a sporty Si version added in 2007, followed by an upscale EX-L trim in 2008.