Honda are having a busy motor show week, with the announcement that the Civic range is going to expand, and there's a whole new family of engines on the way, incorporating the company's 'Earth Dreams' technology. Plus, the CR-Z hybrid warm hatch has had a power bump.
What are the changes to the Honda Civic range?
Firstly, hot hatch fans can rejoice. The Civic Type-R will return, and it'll be here in 2015. It's likely to be a very different machine to the manic high-revving car that last wore the badge - its normally aspirated VTEC engine just couldn't comply with ever more stringent emissions regulations. Like the new Renaultsport Clio, the 2015 Civic Type-R will likely swap normal aspiration for turbocharging, but don't think it's going soft. Honda has confirmed its target for the car is to set a new front-wheel drive lap record of the Nurburgring, which is currently held by Renaultsport's Megane Trophy at 8:08 minutes.
The other Civic is more sedate: we'll see a wagon concept of the car next year, after decades of no estate in the Civic range.
And what's this talk of a new wave of Honda engines?
They're on the way. The first of Honda's 'Earth Dreams' motors will be the 1.6-litre diesel unit, said to be the lightest in its class and cough out 94g/km. It'll see duty in the Civic before the end of 2012, and the new CR-V crossover will benefit next year.
Looking further ahead, Honda's entire range of engines will be replaced over the next three years as Honda commits to making the range more efficient. On that front, by 2015 the company will show off a new hydrogen fuel cell car, like the FCX Clarity of 2008. This time though, it'll come to Europe as well as the USA and Japan.
Finally, a faster CR-Z?
Yes, that too. A revised grille, rear diffuser and alloy wheels mark out the new CR-V, which has had the wick turned up on its 1.5-litre petrol engine to 119bhp, and the electric motor now kicks out 20bhp, making a 139bhp total thats up from 126bhp in the current car.