It was only a short while back that we gave you a preview of the upcoming Honda Civic sedan due for a worldwide launch by the fall of 2011 as the completely redesigned 9th generation 2012 model. As more details have poured in we can now offer you an accurate preview of what to expect when this car lands in Pakistan.
To our knowledge Honda Atlas has already begun testing and the initial stage of assembly of this particular model. A few of the clear “telltale” signs are the fact that Honda are now giving some extra features to boost sales of the current model to make way for the upcoming one. From what we know, the upcoming model will be a well-equipped upgrade from the current 8th generation model with almost all the features of the international variant. While we cannot predict the exact launch dates of this model; it will be early because the current model did not see any face-lift as it is normally expected by Atlas motors. Our estimate is that the new model will be available by the year’s end.
Internationally the car will be offered in three major engine configurations, the slightly revamped R18A (1.8L) with improved fuel economy figures, the 2.0 K20A (non performance variant) which will go on sale in selected countries like Malaysia & Thailand. And finally the lucky North Americans will see a K24A (2.4L variant) dubbed the Si, which will be the high revving evil twin to the sober 1.8L trim. The Civic is also getting an “Hf” variant, which will not make its way to Pakistan. It is mostly an aerodynamically tuned model that offers slightly better fuel economy (41mpg vs. 40mpg).
One not so surprising change is the fact that we won’t be seeing a manual transmission in this model as it has been dropped from the worldwide line up. Not unless Atlas Motors manages to squeeze in the transmission from the 8th generation Civic on this model. The reason this is not surprising is because the M/T model did not enjoy the same sales that the A/T did and most importantly the drive-by-wire system on the car just didn’t play well with the transmission.
One new feature that the car will be getting is the “economy” mode switch that will allow the car to consume less fuel. Most likely this will be an electronic throttle control that just changes the throttle responsiveness (reduces it to be precise) thanks to the drive-by-wire. Honda already tested this system in the CR-Z which offers a “sport” driving model (which simply makes the throttle more sensitive and the EPS stiffer). One feature that would have been appreciated is the tiptronic or paddle-shift transmission mode, however Honda has decided not to offer that. Other features which are confirmed for the international market are the usual, VSA, TPMS, etc.
From the look of things so far, it is obvious that Honda has decided to be very conservative with this model to appeal to a broader market. The car is very similar to the 8th generation in all aspects and is a “logical progression”. It does not offer anything that is drastically different, therefore it will make a good replacement for people looking to upgrade their ageing Civics.
A lot of Honda buyers have also expressed their disappointment about how this model is not drastically different looking, I tend to share these sentiments. At the same time I am positive that the model that will hit the Asian markets will be slightly different with redesigned bumpers, grill and lights as was the case with the 8th generation Civic.
The expected launch price of the new Civic in Pakistan is about 2.2 million rupees. This is based on our estimation and progression of Honda Civic prices since the 6th generation model was introduced here. We hope to follow up soon with pictures of the actual Asian model. Stay tuned to the Pakwheels blog for more coverage on 2012 Civic “Advance”.