2012 Honda Civic (Euro) teaser

The 2012 Honda Civic has already launched here in the United States, but the party is just about to start for our friends in Europe. Across the pond, the Civic has always been quite different from the model we receive in North America, and for the new model year, that tradition will carry on. How can we tell? The first bit of information Honda chose to release about its new five-door European Civic concerns ride and handling, not fuel economy or interior comfort or how many different paint colors will be available.

Initial development of the Euro Civic started in Japan, but when it came time to tune the suspension, the project was handed over to the company's European division. "Every time we visited Europe during the development of the car, we achieved significant improvements in the ride and handling, tuning the car for the local demands," states the Civic's chassis development leader, Kazuo Sunaoshi. The European Civic will retain its torsion beam rear suspension setup from the current car, though Honda has increased the wall thickness of the beam and fitted a larger-diameter stabilizer bar.

The new Civic will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, with only the five-door hatchback configuration being offered. Like the previous Civic, we can expect a range of gasoline and diesel powerplants for European markets, and who knows, maybe a too-hot Type R model will be in the works, too. Follow the jump for Honda Europe's official release, as well as a video of the Civic's ride and handling undergoing testing.

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Honda will launch the new Civic at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Developed specifically for the European market, the Civic will be offered exclusively as a five-door hatchback and will compete in the C-segment. It will reach European showrooms in early 2012.

In the build-up to the reveal of the new Civic, Honda is releasing a series of short form films detailing its development. The first of these focuses on ride & handling.


The ride and handling of the new Honda Civic has been developed in Europe. Working closely with European colleagues and external experts, the Japanese development team analysed the current Civic's performance. This led to a focus on improving the ride quality of the new Civic, while retaining the sporty handling of the current model.

Honda's engineers were conscious that European roads are some of the most varied in the world, mixing fast highways with poorly surfaced country lanes. Initial testing was carried out at the Research and Development facilities in Japan, before the development team transferred to Europe to finalise the car.

"Every time we visited Europe during the development of the car, we achieved significant improvements in the ride and handling, tuning the car for the local demands," says Kazuo Sunaoshi, Development Leader - Chassis. "The new Civic is not just an evolution. In terms of ride quality, we have taken a major step forwards, equivalent to two generations of development."

The new Civic retains the largest cabin space within the C-segment by utilising the compact torsion beam rear suspension from the current Civic. To further improve body control and stability at high speeds, the wall thickness of the torsion beam and the diameter of the stabiliser bar have been increased. In addition, overall ride comfort and handling have been developed through the introduction of new fluid-filled compliance bushings to the rear suspension system.