We’ll see the European-spec 2017 Honda Civic hatch in the flesh at this month’s Paris auto show before the North American model debuts in LA this November, but in the meantime, ‘R1Concepts’ has shared these pictures on the CivicX forums (plus one of the boot from the 9thcivic forums).
Captured at an undisclosed location, the orange markers on the fenders tell us it’s the North American-spec model that was announced last month and which will go on sale in the USA this fall joining the already available new-gen sedan and coupe Civics.
It’s a frisky looking compact model that challenges the staler and more conventionally styled European hatches like the VW Golf.
At least during launch, Honda will only offer a single engine for the U.S. market, a 1.5-liter direct-injected turbocharged four, rated at 174hp and 162 lb.-ft. of torque in LX, EX and EX-L trims with CVT, 174hp and 167 lb.-ft in the LX with a 6sp manual, 180hp and 162 lb.-ft. in Sport and Sport Touring grades with CVT and 180hp and 177 lb.-ft. in the Sport with 6-speed manual.
Honda has already shared EPA fuel economy ratings for the hatch that returns 31/40/34 mpg (city/highway/combined) for CVT-equipped LX, EX and EX-L models, 30/36/32 mpg for CVT-equipped Sport and Sport Touring trims and 30/39/33 mpg for the 6-speed manual equipped LX and Sport grades.
The hatch will also form the base for the wild Type-R model fitted with a 2.0-liter turbocharged VTEC lump producing over 300 horses that will be introduced next year.
And if you’re wondering why Honda is joining the hatchback segment in the US, you might be surprised to learn that five-door models are estimated to post the biggest gain among body styles as a percentage of total U.S. light-vehicle sales within the next few years. Research firm IHS Automotive recently predicted a 37 percent growth through 2020 to 1.1 million annual sales or about 6.6 percent of the market, up from 4.8 percent last year.