For 2006, Honda completely redesigned the Civic giving it a more athletic and curvier look. All models (including the base model) come standard with ABS and side and curtain airbags. Additionally, the 2006 models acquired a ULEV-2 rating and boast a more powerful 1.8 liter hybrid engine than its 2005 counterpart, but still retains almost equal fuel economy.
Eighth generation Civics worldwide
The American market Civic Si is a special trim level designed to offer a sportier experience than the standard Civic. It offers a more powerful engine, 6-speed manual transmission, sport seats, and different styling. The engine is a 2.0-liter, DOHC four-cylinder design with Honda's i-VTEC variable valve timing system. It produces 197 hp (200 PS/147 kW), 57 more than the Civic sedan. A 350 Watt, seven speaker sound system is also included along with a helical limited slip differential, close ratio 6 speed gearbox, and unique Si cloth seats.
JDM and ASEAN Civic
For the JDM and ASEAN markets, the new Civic has slight but noticeable styling differences from the American version. However, the JDM-styling is available in Canada as the Acura CSX. While the arcing line sweeping across the front fascia is retained, the main headlights dip away from the main arc for a more sporty appearance. The front bumper also has more vents with a steeper angle and sharper corners than the USDM Civic. Meanwhile, the taillights, which in the USDM Civic resemble those of an Audi A4, are more reminiscent of the Integra, with the main round brake lights dipping slightly down into the indicators. On the interior side, the JDM/ASEAN Civic will have contrasting two-tone colour scheme. The three spoke steering wheel from the USDM Civic Si and the European hatchback is standard. Engines include a 1.8 litre SOHC i-VTEC engine that produces 140 bhp at 6300 rpm and a 2.0 litre DOHC i-VTEC engine that produces 155 bhp at 6200 rpm, both are mated to either a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic (with paddle shifting available on the 2.0L model) with drive by wire throttles. A hybrid version is also available.
2006 European Honda Civic
The European Civic is the most different in that it will be offered as 5-door and 3-door hatchbacks only. Mechanically, the European Civic differs from the USDM and JDM variants in that it uses a simpler torsion beam suspension system for the rear wheels compared to the double-wishbone system in the USDM and JDM Civics. This change happened in this generation to allow the car to keep its large interior space, and actually reduce the length of the outgoing model Civic. Externally, the European model is the most aggressively styled, while the sweeping front arc is maintained, while a perspex cover that looks very much like a light replaces the grille. The rear taillights are also similarly styled. Triangular accents are found front and back, with triangular fog-lamps in front and dual triangle exhaust tips at the back. Engines include the 1.8 liter i-VTEC shared with the USDM and JDM models as well as a 2.2 litre i-CTDi turbodiesel. A 6-speed manual transmission is available across the range. An automated manual transmission, known as I-SHIFT is available for the petrol engined models.
Some other features of the European Civic include 'magic seats' in the rear, that not only lay flat to increase boot capacity, but also allow the seat bench to lift up and lay flat against the back rests to create a large loading area in the back behind the front seats.
Honda recently debuted a Type R concept for the European Civic at the Geneva Motor Show, the Type R will use a 2.0 litre 198 bhp at 8000 rpm I4. The car itself will be lighter than the standard Civic as dictated by Honda Type R philosophy. Sophisticated handling aids such as traction control have also been eschewed for a purer, more soulful driving character. The Type R should go on sale in 2007 after the regular 3-door hatchback models hit the market. Recently, Honda has also unveiled a prototype 4-door Type R based on the JDM/ASEAN market Civic. The prototype is powered by an 2.0 litre iVTEC engine producing 220ps (217 hp) and comes with a specially tuned sports suspension that includes new Brembo brakes. This prototype has recently been announced as the official car of the Formula One 2006 Japanese Grand Prix. This will mark the first time that Honda will produce two separate distinct Civic Type R models.