The Honda Civic is a model of the Japanese car manufacturer Honda. The first Civic appeared in 1972. The term “Civic” then expresses Honda’s ambition to reduce its polluting emissions and to offer a clean car
Now she is in her tenth generation. In 2001, she abandoned her legendary front suspension with triangulated levers to use traditional struts.
First generation (1972-1979)
The first Honda cars are only 10 years old when Honda Motor Co reveals its latest, the Civic, inJuly 1972.
Well known for its motorcycles, the first years of automobiles, as striking as they are with Honda sports or mini vehicles N and Z, still do not allow to be a big exporter in the image of his Japanese rivals.
Developed for this purpose, the H1300 program only manages to break the internal conflicts between opponents and proponents of air cooling, those more pragmatic, worried about the durability of the company, and those carried away by their creativity and daring. technical.
In 1970 , the “citizen” car project, as its name suggests, starts in Wako .
The Japanese government has just issued the people’s plan because a popular car that must offer 5 m 2 living space. At the same time Honda needs a vehicle suitable for export.
The economy of use, the practical and functional aspect, the safety, the simplicity or the decrease of the polluting emissions are the central elements of the specifications . Guided by the aviation statutes, where each kilogram costs, the aim is 600 kg , for a vehicle of m to 1.45 m .
The Civic is a front transverse engine traction. The EB1 engine block is all- aluminum and has a camshaft head driven by a timing belt, it proved particularly reliable. The gearbox is at the right end of the engine, a special feature of the Honda engine construction that will last 30 years , these turn in the opposite direction of clockwise.
Mamoru Sakata, in charge of the running gear, makes accept an independent suspension on the four wheels of McPherson types and this despite the opinion of Soichiro Honda who would have preferred to find the rigid axle of the 1300. The braking comes from N and 1300 with 4 brakes drums or a mixed assembly depending on the versions, and it rests on 12-inch wheels .
Production quickly reaches unprecedented levels for Honda. 21,320 Civic cars were manufactured in 1972, 80,027 in 1973, 119,855 in 1974 and 160,126 in 1975. A total of 1,186,194 first-generation models will be produced.
Second generation ( 1979 – 1983 ) types SS33 & SL33
The second generation of Civic arrived in August 1979. The line is close to that of the outgoing model and the technical evolutions are few but the size is significantly revised upward. The wheelbase of 2.20 m is raised to 2.25 m on the new Civic 3 doors and even to 2.32 m on the 5-door and station wagon versions. The length of the body, previously 3.54 m passes for it to 3,76 m in 3 doors, 3,83 m in 5 doors and even 3,99 m in break. This generation is divided into 2 groups: those of 79-81 and those of 82-83.
The 79-81 have a specific dashboard with rotary knobs on the side of the instrument cluster. He is aesthetically failed. This half generation has metal bumpers, round headlights and gills are still present on the hood. it exists in 3 and 5 doors and box hondamatic 2 reports.
From 1982, the dashboard changes and gains in modernity even if there is still no central console. The bumpers are now plastic but still fragile and win rectangular headlights. The Hondamatic box (semi-automatic gearbox with torque converter) wins an Overdrive with indicator on the dashboard. In France, a Renault 5 was worth more than a Civic, Honda then practiced a very aggressive commercial policy. In 1983, tinted windows, a Blaupunkt FM car radio, intermittent windshield wipers, a high-quality upholstery and an interior trunk opening with a very fine finish were used.
A Civic “S” type SS33 is even proposed that had 2 single body carburettors for a power of 80 hp . The sunroof was in series and the interior specific.
This generation was sold a lot in the USA where it had the CVCC technology and a real 3-speed automatic gearbox.
The Triumph Acclaim is using this generation of Civic to conquer the European market. Thus, in France neither the Honda Civic 4 doors nor the Honda Ballade will be proposed.
Third generation ( 1983 – 1987 )
The appearance of the 3 th generation Civic shows changes compared to its predecessor. Honda completely modifies its bestseller by emphasizing habitability. In this light, the bonnet becomes very short and plunging. As a result, the front seats are surprisingly large and the model with automatic gearbox (1.5GL) of the most sought.
Two new bodies complete the range. This is the Shuttle break, and the CRX coupe . The Shuttle replaces in its own way the old Civic 5-door and its trunk extension. The appearance of a sports coupe is more unexpected. Honda returns to the front of the stage sports scene; something we had not seen since the S800. Unexpected but “normal” if we consider the formidable performance of the manufacturer in the 1980s in Formula 1 . The biggest change is the inauguration of a new multipoint injection engine under the hood of the Civic CRX Coupe. All aluminum, it develops 101 hp in 1,488 cm 3, and has 3 valves per cylinder, or 12 valves. This engine will then be returned under the hood of the Civic, the GT version.
In 1986, Honda developed a double camshaft engine in the head, and installed it again in the Civic CRX. It develops 125 hp in 1590 cm 3 , and moved by 16 valves . Its rear suspension is specific.
The 4-door version , released under several brands: TRover 213 in Europe, will not sell much. Only the Asian market remains important for this type of body where Honda will sell it under its real name.
Fourth generation ( 1987 – 1991 )
This fourth generation is not really out of sync with the generation it replaces. Honda has just refreshed the Civic line with more gentleness. A new, sharper engine, derived from the design of the NSX super-car, comes to cap the range; it is the VTEC engine . Developing 150 bhp ( B16A1 ), it gives the Civic a special spice, and a very attractive alternative to the competition that offers turbo engines. Like the previous generation, the Civic is offered in its version Coupé, the famous CR-X, with whom it shares a common platform. There is also another declension that comes back on this generation: the Shuttle. This 5-door version of the Civic offering great roominess in a minivan type body will appear for the last time on this generation. It was produced from 1988 to 1995.
Sixth generation ( 1996 – 2000 ) (restyling in 1999)
The sixth generation Honda Civic appears as a break from the one it replaces. No more original and dynamic lines, instead of a vehicle with a smooth and robust style, but classic and unappealing. Fans appreciate, but this Civic loses the character of its elders, visually speaking.
Motorization, on the other hand, we find the blocks that make the reputation of the Japanese manufacturer and the happiness of its customers, ranging from the small 1,4L of 90 hp to powerful 1.6L Vtec of 185 hp ( 115,625 hp per liter) . The Civic 6 th generation is available in 3 and 4-door versions, while the US market imposed a 2-door Coupé version, also imported to Europe.
Honda Civic Ek3
A 5-door version also exists (see Civic Fastback), but if it is called “Civic”, it appears as part of a range apart, since on the one hand, it is produced on the same channels. manufacture that the Rover 400 and therefore includes many parts in common (replacing the famous Concerto), an English workforce but well designed by the Japanese