What debuted in 1972 as a humble two-door coupe wearing for the first time the Civic moniker is now one of the most important models in the entire history of Honda if not the most important. Five decades later, the vehicle is sold literally everywhere around the world in numerous versions and is now an icon. Now in its 11th generation, the Civic celebrates its 50th anniversary some 27.5 million sales after its market launch.
During its first generations, the Civic was categorized as a subcompact vehicle but with the 2000 model, it grew to a compact car, positioned between the Fit/City and the Accord in the brand’s global lineup. Since the very first Civic, the model has always been a global model, though it has been available in different specifications for different markets.
Gallery: Honda Civic 50th Anniversary
The first-gen Civic was assembled in Japan and sold more than one million units in about four years. The second-generation model arrived in 1979, bringing improved engines and a five-speed manual transmission. Just four years later, the third-gen model was launched as Honda’s answer to the changing customer preferences – bigger and more powerful cars were in demand. This model was sold in three body styles.
It wasn’t until the seventh generation Civic that the model grew significantly again. The vehicle launched in 2000 introduced hybrid technology to the nameplate and became one of the most efficient cars at the time. The 10th generation Civic brought a brand new design in 2015 and new turbocharged engines. Two years later, the new Civic Type R was unveiled and shortly after, it set a new lap record for front-wheel-drive cars at the Nurburgring.
This brings us to the current 11th generation Civic, which has a more mature design language, new tech, and electrified powertrains. A brand new Civic Type R will debut later this month with an upgraded 2.0-liter turbo gas engine, expected to produce anywhere in the neighborhood of 310 to 320 hp.