The Honda Civic hatchback will return to the North American market after an 11-year hiatus.
Honda showed off its prototype at the Geneva Motor Show Tuesday. The production version, which is scheduled to go on sale in Canada and the United States later this year as a 2017 model, is not expected to vary much from this prototype.
The new hatch is longer, wider and lower than the current generation in Europe and will have larger wheels and more a more aggressive styling.
“We knew that we needed to create a striking and stand-out exterior design that challenged conventional European compact styling while staying true to the original Civic’s core values,” said Honda project leader Daisuke Tsutamori, in a statement. “The result is a marriage of distinctive and sporty design, rewarding driving dynamics and versatile practicality.”
With the design and anticipated performance, Honda is clearly looking to attract buyers who may be thinking about the Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf.
“The Civic Hatchback Prototype infuses the Civic lineup with an added layer of five-door versatility, as well as a big dose of European hot hatch styling,” reads a statement.
The United States hasn’t had a Civic hatchback since the seventh-generation model stopped being sold in 2005. The eighth and ninth generations have been sold in Europe.
The hatchback will come with similar powertrain options as the coupe and sedan.
It will make its North American debut at the New York International Auto Show March 22.
The Honda Civic is Canada's best-selling car with sales of just under 65,000 in 2015. Honda's manufacturing plant in Alliston, Ont. produced just under 180,000 Civics last year. The new hatchback will be produced in the U.K. and shipped worldwide.
How the Civic hatchback has evolved over the years:
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