The Detroit Bureau reported on Aug. 12 that they have learned that Honda will debut a 2014 version of what they are calling the next generation Honda Civic Tourer at the Frankfort Auto Show next month.
Honda makes no mention nor does the Detroit Bureau make the connection that this vehicle looks like and has functions described that make it look like what we know as the Honda Crosstour now sold in the North America.
Interestingly, Honda says the Civic Tourer is designed to be a “wagon” version of the Honda Civic in Europe while the Crosstour (by appearance and described function as we see it) is a “wagon crossover” version of the Accord in North America.
The 2014 Civic Tourer to be shown at Frankfort appears to follow from the earlier Honda Urban SUV Concept vehicle that was shown at the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) at Detroit.
The Civic Tourer evolution shows a continuing Honda belief that the market in Europe (and North America) has need for an urban vehicle that is somewhere between SUV and the classic station wagon.
The Civic Tourer preview pictures show a design that has a lot more muscular sports car styling and silhouette than the current Crosstour and possibly signals where the Crosstour may be going in years to come.
Honda was clear that the Civic Tourer is (as shown – my words) not coming to North America. You can read into that what you want as the Civic Tourer is a bit smaller following on the Civic line while the Crosstour in North America follows on the lines of the larger Honda Accord. It appears to this writer that Honda is still evolving this design and determining its longer term place in the global Honda vehicle line-up.
Honda says the Civic Tourer design with its distinctive silhouette enables them to maximize cargo capacity behind the seating front and second row and also allows them to provide the under cargo deck storage spaces, as in the Crosstour, for additional capacity.
Additionally, using the Civic platform that places the fuel tank under the front seats, the Civic Tourer will have a completely flat and lower floor for to enhance the cargo space.
The second row seats in the Civic Tourer will feature a unique configuration (called Magic Seat) that allows them to fold up vertical or fold flat. When folded vertical, the space beneath the second row seats provides additional height to the cargo capacity in that area to accommodate large dimension containers.
Power plants for the 2014 Civic Tourer will include the Earth Dreams Technology 1.6L i-DTEC diesel engine which is from their new line of diesel engines using advanced technology like direct injection. For those wanting a gasoline engine, the current 1.8L i-VTEC power plant will be available.
According to sources, the new Civic Tourer will benefit from a retuned chassis and will be equipped with a rear mounted Adaptive Damper System that will allow the driver to adjust the driving experience as desired from Comfort to Normal or Dynamic settings.
Again, the Civic Tourer is not coming to the United States, but I would see it as a harbinger of the next evolution of the very capable Crosstour sold currently in North America.
And, we recall that the Urban SUV Concept shown at NAIAS this past January was described in a Jan. 14 press release as an “an all-new small SUV slated to launch in Japan by the end of 2013, followed by the U.S. market in 2014”. So stay tuned, Honda is obviously doing a lot of work on next generation vehicles for urban markets around the world and there are more developments to follow.
The 2014 Civic Tourer will go on sale in the first half of 2014 in Europe. Pricing and other details will likely be announced at the Frankfort Auto Show next month.