Honda announces the new Civic at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show. Developed specifically for the European market, the Civic will be offered exclusively as a five-door hatchback and will compete in the C-segment. It will reach European showrooms in early 2012.
The Civic team led by Mitsuru Kariya, the ‘Large Project Leader’ (LPL), were given the task to create and develop the new Civic. With the current Civic being known for its unique exterior styling and interior practicality within the C segment in Europe, Mitsuru Kariya and his team were keen to further understand the needs and desires of the European customers. The current Civic became the benchmark focus for their research to create a car that was even better.
Initial ideas for the new Civic explored the realm of the car having a ‘Lean Energetic’ design. ‘Lean’ was to emphasize the environmental-conscious world existing today, and ‘Energetic’ to express Honda’s vitality.
This design direction translated into a ‘Clean-Dynamic’ design concept.
The design team often referred back to their sources of inspiration to help define ‘Clean- Dynamic’, a ‘blended body’ airplane in which fuselage and wings blend into a single body for superior aerodynamic performance, quietness and habitability. Other inspiration was swimwear and track outfits worn by the athletes which provide low resistance.
Initial sketches focused on elegantly flowing designs taken from the ‘blended body’ airplane (a concept model designed by engineers at the University of Cambridge) and low resistance swimwear with no obvious borderlines between surfaces with bumper and fender lines blending seamlessly into the body.
This concept was a clear break in a new direction, rather than relying on sheer strength and engine power to convey a sporty image, a ‘blended body’ with reduced resistance would demonstrate a smarter image for the new Civic.
The team returned to these sources over and over again during the design process, using them as a touchstone when they needed to reaffirm their direction.