The new Honda Civic e:HEV will be at the center of Vanity Fair's "Social Garden" booth at Milan Design Week 2022 to promote its European launch.
“Vanity Fair always strives to think one step ahead, driven by curiosity and a revolutionary attitude towards life: this year at Design Week, we are pleased to welcome creative and enthusiastic minds to our Vanity Fair Social Garden booth who improve the quality of our lives and make them easier, without forgetting the environmental impact of what they create,” explains Cristina Lucchini, co-director of Vanity Fair.
“We are delighted to be able to present the Civic to the Italian public for the first time. The response to this car has been excellent so far and attending Milan Design Week provides an opportunity to connect with design-conscious customers,” explains Simone Mattogno, General Manager of Honda’s Italian Automotive Division.
New Honda Civic 2022.
The all-new 11th generation Civic is built with a human-centered design concept in mind, both in terms of styling and dynamic development. Continuing the development of the "Happy Civic", Honda engineers focused on how external and internal components can work together to provide a more comfortable and engaging driving experience that will positively impact owners' daily lives.
Launched in 1972 as "a car for people everywhere", the Civic formed the basis of Honda's "Maximum Man, Minimum Machine" (M/M) development concept. This principle, now applied to the entire Honda product range, is based on the belief that the goal of both automotive technology and design is to meet the needs of the driver and passengers. The consequence of these assumptions is the cabin of the latest Civic, in which comfort, good visibility and spaciousness exceed current standards. Moreover, it is safer and more interesting from the driver's point of view.
Dynamic exterior design
Honda's "joy" design philosophy has contributed to the modern evolution of the Civic's exterior, which echoes the calm and elegant styling found on other recent Honda models. The new Civic features a lower, more streamlined roofline and lower cutout, which has increased window area, improved visibility and the same spacious feel as the first generation Civic.
For a sportier coupe aesthetic, the new Civic's wheelbase is 35mm longer than the outgoing model, but the rear overhang has been shortened by 20mm and overall height has been reduced. The highest point of the roofline has been moved forward from the previous model, and the gently sloping tailgate completes the elegant appearance.
“A key element of this design is the shape of the rear roof. We were actually looking at different options,” explains Hitomaro Asano, Civic exterior designer. “We considered the introduction of an additional two-section window and the choice of a so-called hatchback style. But we decided that a design that makes people feel good or excited the moment they see it will work best. The silhouette of the car had to give the impression that it was drawn with a single stroke of a pencil.
The tailgate is made from composite materials developed using a new production technology and is lighter on the 20% than its predecessor. This element was very important to achieve a more elegant appearance. Stylistic restraint and fluidity are also evident at the front of the car. Compared to the previous generation, the bonnet and front fenders have been moved 25mm lower and the A-pillars have been moved 50mm back. This provides the driver with an impressive uninterrupted field of vision. Due to the lower mass of the front of the car, the wheels and tires appear larger. Combined with a wider rear track and wheel arch flares, the result is a lower, more confident stance and a more agile visual impression.
“The main goal was to give the new Civic the sporty and youthful look that is the essence of this model,” continues Asano. “So we tried to create a very distinctive look and at the same time make the top of the car as thin as possible,” adds Asano. “This is also a reference to the history of previous generations, but as the face of the Civic changed, I was looking for something in common and found one similarity. They all had a front end where the upper grille was a little lower and the headlights a little higher, so we tried to place the hood and headlights in the same places as the earlier generations.”
Increased cabin comfort
Honda's M/M (Maximum Man, Minimum Machine) design concept is reflected in a passenger-focused cabin designed to meet the highest expectations for refinement and space. The cab offers better visibility and light space thanks to a low, flat instrument panel, exterior mirror placement and large windows.
“When we jointly developed the key phrase ‘joy’, we started thinking about how it could be applied to the interior and considered the idea of focusing on the issue of time, for example,” says Yasunori Ogawa, interior designer for Civic. . “We thought – if we have a refreshing and pleasant morning, we will feel good all day. It's hard to feel great all day, but if we focus on the morning, we can make it happen. Our research work revealed three key words: purity, rhythm, and stimulation.”
This is expressed in the interior design, which reflects the same clean, modern design philosophy that characterizes the exterior: unnecessary, user-centric, made from high-quality materials and tactile characteristics that contribute to driver and passenger satisfaction.
Despite the lower roofline, headroom and interior remain the same as the previous generation model, thanks to the clever layout of the hybrid system's components in the chassis and engine bay. The spacious luggage compartment of the new Civic has not changed from the previous generation - it is one of the largest in its segment - but the extended loading hatch improves usability. The result is a vehicle with ample space and functionality that is a viable alternative to larger models such as SUVs.
“The tailgate hinges are located behind the heads of the second-row passengers, and this is definitely the place where it is difficult to lower the roofline,” adds Asano. “Of course, there are ways to create an attractive design at the expense of a functional layout, but such a compromise would be unacceptable for Civic or Honda in general. We explained this to everyone involved in interior, exterior and vehicle layout design, and then we started thinking about how to achieve this.
In the beginning, we talked about moving the hinges outside the uprights. As for the neck line - given that we envisioned a cockpit without visual confusion, placing the neck line, for example, in the middle of the C-pillar, would destroy that assumption. We definitely didn't want to break the straight line that runs continuously from front to back, so we suggested using an arch around the last window, and everyone, including the stylists, chose this solution."
Designers have carefully crafted innovative air vents around the cockpit with great attention to detail. They provide a wider yet less invasive airflow, while the elegant look is achieved through the use of a honeycomb grill across the entire width of the vents.
“Cleanliness is one of the keywords that define the interior design of the Civic. It's my personal feeling, but ever since I started in the industry, I don't like having air conditioning outlets on the dashboard,” explains Ogawa. “Trains used to have fans in Japan. I can't help that this is how I tie the vent pipe. However, when we look at the interior of houses, all these elements are hidden from view. Using these key concepts in the Civic's design, I introduced a honeycomb pattern throughout the dashboard to maintain the highest quality finishes as well as a clearer interior style."
Great care has been taken to develop an environment that does not require too much movement from seated passengers for ongoing activities. The infotainment system is located at the periphery of the driver's field of vision, which means the driver does not have to turn their head to check information. This reduces the risk of distraction and shortens the time it takes for the eyes to return to a straight line, which has a significant impact on safety.
“We dynamically tested the size range and height of the HMI early on, using various variations on a real Honda car with a set fit, to test system ergonomics and ease of use of controls, as well as visuals,” explains Ogawa.
Since its introduction in 1972, the cutting-edge Civic has gained more than 27.5 million customers in 170 countries.
Honda Civic new generation will appear in Europe in the fall of 2022.