More important for Honda fans is the fact that the 3door Civic TYPE S forms the basis for the forthcoming Civic TYPE R, which is also scheduled to be launched in early 2007. The brits will have the chance to see the Civic TYPE R Concept as it will make its UK debut at the Motor Show, but this time, Honda will preview the car in a sexy white color (in Geneva it was in yellow). More details about the production version will be provided when the Civic TYPE R makes its public debut at the Paris Motor Show later this year.
Sharing the same dynamic silhouette and overall dimensions as the acclaimed 5-door model, the Civic TYPE S further emphasizes the Civic's sporty and fun-to-drive direction to appeal to a young audience. The styling is therefore more assertive and the suspension is tuned for sharper chassis dynamics, with revised spring and damper settings and a 20mm wider rear track.
Further emphasising its sporty nature, the Civic TYPE S is powered by either a 1.8 litre petrol engine or a 2.2 litre diesel engine, both of which produce 103kW/140PS and are mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox.
Two model grades will be offered. The extensive specification of the standard TYPE S includes 17 inch alloys, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), air conditioning, cool box, remote audio controls and side curtain airbags. The TYPE S Plus adds dual zone air conditioning, cruise control, front fog lights, retractable mirrors, automatic wipers and automatic headlamps. Certain markets also gain HID headlamps, heated front seats and a panorama glass roof.
Sculpted and fully integrated side skirts flare outwards towards front and rear wheels and seamlessly blend into the wheel arch surrounds, familiar from the 5-door model. These in turn flow into the front and rear spoilers to complete the lower body structure, all of which is finished in a gun metallic colour for added visual appeal. The deep front air intake, together with the 17 inch alloy wheels and wider rear track provide the TYPE S with a particularly muscular and planted look.
Black Alcantara seating and a leather trimmed steering wheel, both with silver stitching, plus aluminium pedals, set the tone for the equally sporty interior. Large seat bolsters provide reassuring support during cornering.
The cabin is focused around the unique and visually arresting Dual Link concept fascia introduced on the 5-door model. Key driving information, including vehicle speed, is displayed in the upper part of the instrument panel, while other information is provided in the lower section. This design is particularly effective in presenting information without compromising the driver's concentration on the road.
The Civic's coupe-like styling has not compromised the cabin space. The interior instead succeeds in providing a high degree of flexibility and passenger accommodation. The distance between the hip point of front and rear passengers at 803 mm, for example, equates to that in higher segment cars.
The rear seats also incorporate Honda's familiar one-motion, dive-down feature that instantaneously creates a flat loading space of a spacious 485 litres, mirroring that of the 5-door model. The cargo floor can also be dropped down to reveal an under-floor compartment. A centrally positioned fuel tank located beneath the front seats, rather than impinging on the luggage area, plays a key role in achieving this packaging efficiency.
The comprehensive safety features include ABS, Electronic Brake-force Distribution with brake assist, VSA, front and side SRS airbags, full length side curtain airbags, double seatbelt pre-tensioners on both front seats and active headrests. The instrument display also features an innovative seatbelt reminder for both front and rear seat passengers. Honda anticipates a Euro NCAP result of 5 stars for front and side impact safety, 3 stars for pedestrian safety and 4 stars for child protection safety, making it one of the safest cars in its class.