I have actually known the exact date for some time now but have been reluctant to talk about it here on TOVA News as it was supposed to be confidential. However, recently it seems that Honda dealers have been pretty open with the infor, with several Malaysian TOVA readers writing to me to let me know the 'scoop'. Furthermore the latest campaign by Honda Malaysia, a competition on the Honda Civic, has a closing date that more or less 'spills the bean'.
What I am talking about then is the official launch of the new 8th Generation Honda Civic for Malaysia, slated for the morning of March 9th, 2006.
This launch of the new 8th generation or 'EU' Civic is very significant as far as I am concerned because it will be the first time I will have a chance to take a look at the car up close and in complete detail. This means that I will finally be able to give full coverage on the new Civic, both 1.8l and 2.0l variants come March 9th, which is of course less than 2 weeks time. For the Asian region, this Malaysian launch is important as well because as far as I know, Malaysia is the first country to launch locally assembled (CKD) versions. The other Asian countries which have launched the new Civic, notably Singapore and Australia, are importing their units from Japan. Those units it seems are not completely identical to the units that were launched by HAT in Thailand. So the Malaysian units will be the first one that are developed for the regional market (other than the Thai versions of course).
Superficially, the new Civic should hold no real surprise to Honda enthusiasts, especially TOVA readers. Malaysia will get 2 engine variants : a 1.8l SOHC i-VTEC unit delivering 140ps and a 2.0l DOHC i-VTEC unit delivering 155ps. Both engines are designed for a balance of performance with good fuel economy. As for power characteristic, both engines are tuned for low and mid-range power delivery.
The 1.8l Civic should come with a 5AT. It would be the same with the 2.0l but with different gear ratios and steering wheel mounted paddles for the sequential shifting option. For Malaysia, I have been told that Honda's assembly plant in Melaka is now running at 'over capacity', i.e. pushing beyond its original designed production yield of 20,000 units a year (it produced 22,000 units last year). So logistically it is not feasible to consider special runs of manual Civics for example. To cater for the needs of enthusiasts, Honda Malaysia told me that their current plans are to offer the sequential shifter, like those on the City, Jazz and this new Civic and hopes that the enthusiasts might find this to be at least an acceptable alternative.
Market segment wise, the 1.8l Civic is packaged to appeal to the mass market, with good grunt and good fuel economy, especially during cruising. The 2.0l Civic on the other hand is hoped to be able to satisfy most of the demands of the enthusiasts (other than outright max power and the manual gearbox option). It remains to be seen if the Civic will meet their objectives, especially in satisfying the enthusiasts. I am expecting the 1.8l Civic to come with beige or even two tone beige based interior, similar to the Accord while the 2.0l Civic will come with a fully leathered black-dark grey interior. For years Honda have been trying to reclaim the compact car segment crown from the Toyota Altis. While the launch of the ET1 Civic 2.0 i-VTEC went some way to doing this, ultimately the Toyota Altis still remain a better seller than the Civic. So this new EU-Civic will be the car Honda Malaysia hopes to finally acheive this goal. Consequently, I can tell TOVA readers to expect the new Civic, especially the 2.0l variant, to be spec'ed and packaged to completely dominate the Altis in every important parameter. This includes engine and gearbox specs, features and all other parameters. So, besides the much superior combination of the 155ps DOHC i-VTEC engine and the 5speed GLC automatic gearbox with steering wheel paddle sequential shifters, expect also a fully spec'ed 2.0l Civic. This means Xenon HIDs, 16inch wheels, and a list of specifications that will put the Altis list (which have hereto been better than the Civic's) to shame. Expect ABS with EBD, traction control, Vehicle stability assist and at least 4 airbags (one dealer even told me it will have 6 airbags but I have not been able to confirm this claim).
March 9th is of course only 11 days away at the time of this news item. Based on previous launches, TOVA readers can also expect to be able to check the new Civic out on the same day. In fact, based on the City MMC launch, the units should already be in the dealer's showrooms the night before or even earlier but would be hidden under covers. Price-wise, I am expecting the 1.8l Civic to be around slightly over 115k OTR (OTR=On The Road, meaning including 'document fees', 1 year full insurance and road tax). For the 2.0l Civic, unlike others, I will go out on a limb and will venture the expectation that it will be priced below 130k OTR, probably around 129,800 or 129,900 or thereabouts. I do know that Honda feels that the 130k OTR price level to be a pychologically important barrier for potential Honda buyers. A Civic priced above 130k OTR will only attract unwanted comparison to the Honda Accord 2.0 i-VTEC and other similar full-sized alternatives so they will do all they can to price the Civic below the RM130k OTR level. I am of course hoping that they will succeed.
In the meantime, I hope to be able to find some time to start a feature to celebrate the 'spirit and DNA' of the Honda Civic, mainly to commemorate some of the great Civic models of the past.
As all of us have extensively n excessively seen civic's pics so i felt
not to add more pics hope u will enjoy it n i will upgrade u with malaysian civic
but when r we going to have our pakistani civic n wht will be its price???????????