2012 Honda Civic Concept previewEnlarge Photo
News from next month's 2011 Detroit Auto Show is coming in almost daily now.
The latest announcement: Honda will present the world debut of a concept car that shows the styling direction of its next--and crucially important--Honda Civic.
In reality, this means that the Honda Civic Concept shown in Detroit will be a thinly disguised version of the ninth-generation 2012 Civic, which will go on sale in spring 2011.
Today, Honda released a sketch of the "sleek and aerodynamic profile" of its concept. It appears to be either a two-door coupe or a three-door hatchback.
From the image, the 2012 Civic may move more toward the global look of Civics sold in other markets. For the most recent generation (2006-2011) Civic, the cars sold in North America were different from the Space Age styling of the five-door hatchback Civic model sold in other markets.
Honda delayed the debut of the new Civic to make the new generation more fuel efficient than originally planned in the wake of the 2008 gasoline-price spike. Expect new versions to surpass 30 miles per gallon in city mileage, even from the four-cylinder gasoline version.
As always, there will also be a Civic Hybrid model, presumably using the next iteration of Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) mild hybrid system.
Rumor would have it that the 2012 Civic Hybrid will get the more powerful 1.5-liter version of the IMA powertrain now fitted only to the 2011 Honda CR-Z hybrid sport coupe, up from the current model's 1.3-liter engine.
Natural gas also plays into the Civic product plan: Honda had previously announced that it will sell the 2012 natural-gas fueled Civic GX model in all 50 states, up from just a handful currently.
A new three-cylinder engine is rumored as well, though it seems unlikely we'll get that one here in the States.
Watch GreenCarReports for all the news leading up to the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, as well as live reports and breaking news from the media preview days on January 10 and 11.