Friday, January 1, 2016

European Civic Going to America

European Honda Civic
Currently, the European Honda Civic is built at the Swindon factory, but sales in Europe have crashed. The factory can crank out 250,000 cars a year, the Nikkei reports, but output has been reduced to about 100,000 vehicles due to lack of demand.

That's a bummer for Honda's European operations, but it's probably great news for North Americans. To prop up its British manufacturing business, Honda will import Civic hatchbacks (five-door models) to North America starting in 2016. That almost certainly includes the Civic Type R everyone just saw unveiled in Geneva—the 305-hp, turbocharged, flared, be-winged monster that Honda claims can slaughter the Nordschleife in 7:50.63.

That's a mere 10 seconds behind the mid-engined, rear-wheel drive Porsche Cayman GT4's claimed time, and 30 seconds behind the 911 GT3. Honda, if this pans out, may just make up for leaving enthusiasts wandering in the desert since the S2000 died out.

Here's the thing, though. Honda wants to import something like 30-40,000 units a year. That's big (read: impossible) volume for a hyper-niche car like the Civic Type R. As a result, look for mainstream models like the UK's Civic Sport to account for most of the cars.

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