The 2022 Honda Civic hatchback will arrive in the fourth quarter of 2021 with a slightly more powerful turbocharged engine.
An entry on the Australian Government’s Road Vehicle Certification System (RVCS) reveals the turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder under the bonnet will produce 131kW of power at 6000rpm, up from 127kW at 5500rpm.
RVCS entries don’t list torque figures, though in the US-market Civic this engine puts out 134kW and 239Nm.
While a six-speed manual will be available in other markets, only a continuously-variable transmission (CVT) will be offered in the core range here.
However, the next-generation Type R, which has been confirmed for a local launch, will continue to offer a manual transmission.
Only 18-inch alloy wheels are mentioned in the RVCS entry, with the sole image showing gloss black wheels somewhat reminiscent of those on the current top-spec RS.
The outgoing Civic hatch currently offers 18-inch wheels only in the RS, with the VTi-S using 16-inch alloys and the VTi-L using 17-inch alloys.
That suggests Honda could nix an entry-level VTi-S variant and instead open the new range with a variant more comparable to the current mid-range VTi-L or top-spec RS in terms of specification.
We already expect even the most affordable 2022 Civic to offer more equipment than the outgoing car, which lacks standard autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control in base VTi-S guise.
Honda Australia culled the base model VTi and luxury-spec VTi-LX from the outgoing car earlier this year when it switched over to nationwide, fixed drive-away pricing.
The outgoing car is priced from $31,000 to $39,600 drive-away.
Pricing for the new car has yet to be announced.
The hatchback-only range will be sourced from Japan instead of Thailand. That includes the Type R, which was previously manufactured in the UK.
As we’ve previously reported, the outgoing car’s naturally-aspirated 1.8-litre four-cylinder won’t carry over, though a hybrid model will follow in 2022.
The Civic e:HEV hybrid is expected to use the same powertrain as the HR-V e:HEV: a 1.5-litre petrol four-cylinder and two electric motors, for total outputs of 96kW of power and 253Nm of torque.
The new Civic hatch measures 4560mm long, 1415mm tall and 1802mm wide on a 2735mm wheelbase.
That makes it 45mm longer than the current car, 6mm lower and 3mm wider on a 35mm longer wheelbase.
Tare mass is between 1346 and 1358kg. The outgoing RS hatch weighs 1331kg.
Depending on the market, the 11th-generation Civic offers a choice of 7.0- and 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment systems, the latter with wireless instead of wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus an optional 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster.
The uncluttered interior design features distinctive honeycomb mesh trim that conceals the air-conditioning vents, while Honda says it has made sure the hard plastics are hard and “soft parts are soft as if they are moist”.
The Civic’s adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist work together in the new Traffic Jam Assist feature.
The Honda Sensing system now uses a single camera instead of a radar-and-camera set-up, though Honda says software advances and a more powerful processor make it work better than before.
The sedan available in overseas markets won’t be making the trip here, despite Honda Australia offering a Civic sedan since the third generation model was launched in 1984.
That’ll leave Honda without a direct rival to the four-door Hyundai i30, Kia Cerato, Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla sedans, though hatchbacks are traditionally the higher-volume body style in the Australian small car segment.
Honda Australia has said it’s focusing on high-specification grades rather than volume-driving entry variants, which makes sourcing from Japan more feasible. The redesigned HR-V will also come from Japan.
The company has also introduced a new ‘agency’ business model this year, under which it owns its inventory, has fixed pricing, and plans to sell fewer cars at higher margins.
“A number of new models will come from Japan, not Thailand. That opens up a few doors in terms of some of the European spec and tech,” said Honda Australia director Stephen Collins.