Getting its global reveal in Geneva, the all-new Honda Civic Hatchback Prototype made a solid first impression at the Swiss show. This slick 5-door is a thinly veiled precursor to a

new Civic variant going into production at Honda’s Swindon UK assembly facility in early 2017. Long a core Civic model on the continent where hatchbacks reign, the newest version will be exported to the U.S., where it’s expected as a 2018 model.

Daring to be different

Longer, lower and wider than the current Civic Hatchback, this successor is intended to set new design benchmark according to Daisuke Tsutamori, who headed up the styling efforts. “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: a marriage of distinctive and sporty design, rewarding driving dynamics and versatile practicality.”

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Spun from the same platform as the new Civic Sedan and abetted by its longer wheelbase that promises increased interior volume, the Hatchback Prototype bookends its smartly sculpted bodywork with equally aggressive front/rear fascias, full LED lighting and purposefully short overhangs. The nose is highlighted by the boldest take yet on the new Civic face while the tail integrates C-shaped lamps with the lower decklid spoiler. This combination is set off with oversize outboard vents and center-mount dual exhaust outlets. In addition to making a strong curbside statement, the look should to translate well into the high-performance Civic Type-R based on this new Hatchback, which will  arrive later with more power and a higher profile in Europe and  in the U.S. as well.

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Although Honda may dial back a few of the details for the volume-build version of the new Civic Hatchback, the automaker has incorporated much of what appears on Prototypes in their production follow-ons.

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