By on February 5, 2014

honda-civic-tourer-1

With the debut of the European developed and British-built Honda Civic Tourer in the middle of this month, a new era of greater influence from the contintent over the automaker’s R&D unit has begun.

Adrian Killham, the tourer’s project leader at Honda’s R&D facility in Swindon — the first non-Japanese engineer to hold the title — believes developing cars for Europe in Europe is crucial for success in the continent, from driving dynamics to luggage space, and even the type of carpeting now used throughout the automaker’s global lineup.

The European influence will also come into play when the new Civic is introduced in 2017. In the meantime, Honda aims to raise the profile of the Civic Tourer by entering it into the 2014 British Touring Car Championship season, the first estate to trade paint with the likes of BMW and Kia since Volvo’s turbocharged 850 R in the 1990s.

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40 Comments on “Europe’s Role In Honda’s R&D Gains Greater Influence...”


  • avatar
    EX35

    I’m not sure I understand this post. This car is European designed because the car is only being sold in Europe. This has been this way for years with Honda in the EU. Am I missing something?

  • avatar
    George B

    Styling inspired by the Cadillac of minivans?

    http://movieclips.com/foLd-get-shorty-movie-the-cadillac-of-minivans/

  • avatar
    bills79jeep

    Wow, that is ugly. The fender shape, the bumper below the headlights, the odd C-D pillar area… Ouch

    • 0 avatar
      Blackcloud_9

      Wow, I thought just the opposite. I think it is a cool looking car and if it were to become available in the states, I would consider buying one
      To each their own…

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        My thought was; “ooh, pretty!” That’s what a Prius should look like. Hmm, I’m not a design student, but I still get to like what I like.

        • 0 avatar

          My major reaction is that it would be hard to see out of. I don’t want to drive that. If they boost the window area, then maybe.

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            Regularly seeing the hatchback in traffic, I think the glass aera on these are massive compare to most other cars, but the rear sidewindows on the touring do make me think they are will have to make backup-cameras a standard feature…

    • 0 avatar
      bills79jeep

      Well, guess I’m the outlier. Then again my tastes lean more towards 2nd gen Ford Falcons and CJ-2A’s, so swoopy flame surface-esque designs aren’t really my thing.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        @ bills79jeep – You must be someone who likes to be able to see out of his vehicle, you dinosaur! ;-)

        Seriously though, I can understand pillars that have been thickened enough to accommodate airbags. Beyond that, I don’t understand the mad rush to eliminate glass area. Some people point to improved roof crush standards, but I don’t think it’s that. I think it’s (a) fashion and (b) trading the visibility gained by a given area of glass for the lightness and sound deadening of an equal area of metal (“metal” meaning various layers of non-glass structure). I suppose less window areas eases the load on the HVAC too. Perhaps an engineer can weigh in.

        If the Smith System was part of your driver’s education, it’s unnerving to drive a car with poor visibility. And yes, I know how to adjust my mirrors. I’ll take properly adjusted mirrors AND good visibility, thank you.

        Love me some first and second generation Falcons, but I think I’d have to go to dealer across the road to buy a second generation Corvair.

    • 0 avatar
      sitting@home

      Add some cladding and call it an Aztek.

  • avatar
    prndlol

    A Criss-Crosstour as it were.

  • avatar
    Frankie the Hollywood Scum

    I read this as Honda yadda yadda yadda… Wagons are back in the BTCC!

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Isn’t Adrian Killham the project leader for Extremis??

    Oh wait, its Aldrich Killian. My bad.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I suppose it’s sort of in the same class as the [former] Impreza wagon, which is now more of a hatch. Just not with AWD. I think it’s alright in general, bit swoopy, but the rear door handle triangle is a big fail.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    You bloody lucky Europeans! You get to watch a Touring wagon Civics! We Yanks just get lame ads!

    On a serious note, if there weren’t swoopy fake coupe-ish lines everywhere this wouldn’t be half bad. Hopefully Europes involvement will revive the Civic as a proper hatchback.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      We already have a ‘normal’ hatchback Civic, and the front 2/3rds looks exactly like the wagon. We even get them with diesels and manuals ;) But now that they have released the new 50mpg(city)+ 1.6 turbodiesel,we no longer get the massive 2.2 liter CRV/Accord diesel in the Civic. I think the Europeans will now have more control of the mechanical aspects, as the design have already been European model specific (at least for the Civic) for a while.

      • 0 avatar
        calgarytek

        Methinks this platform is rather inferior to what we get in North America. Front mac struts with a rear torsion beam.

        Easy to fix though and Euro market oriented… Not for me though.

        Double wishbone’s FTW!

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          I’ve yet to see a proper hatch Civic here, just sedans and coupes (one semi riced to look like a sad pace car).

          Over here Civics probably get a cheaper platform in order to compete better on the market, sort of like what VW does.

          I like my struts, but I’d rather have a more sophisticated rear suspension and useable windows.

          • 0 avatar
            calgarytek

            @Ryoku75
            Here as in, the UK I gather. And you haven’t seen a proper Civic hatch yet? Don’t the EK9 and the Swindon built EP3 count as proper hatches?

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          Nope, here as in “the US”, but I woundn’t mind visiting the UK sometime. I imagine that people are a little more physically fit there. .

      • 0 avatar
        stephenjmcn

        We got a new 1.6 diesel a few months back, the engine is incredible. 54-55 mpg around town, 70 on motorway. I was sceptical, but it works.

        For those of you who mentioned visibility, yes, the backup camera is essential :)

  • avatar
    honda_lawn_art

    “We should put the rear door handles in the C pillar.”
    -“Why?”
    “Because, they were the best part of the Nissan Pathfinder.”
    -“Hooray!”

  • avatar
    Jacob

    This looks pretty cool. I’ll take it over Jetta any day.

  • avatar
    Numbers_Matching

    I’m sure its a pretty nice car..but I can’t get past the huge fender contours. Styling for styling’s sake.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    Interesting that the British “who lost their Automotive Industry” according to past posts on TTAC are now overtaking the French car industry. Looks like the demise of British Leyland was NOT the demise of the Industry there.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      Well,how many british car manufacturers actually have british owners or management nowadays?

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Zykotec,
        Very few are owned by British owners but they are managed by local British management who may or may not report to a foreign HQ.

        • 0 avatar
          piffpaff

          The brits are still a major force in the industry – not by ownership but through talent. Ford and GM has many brits in the uppermost levels of management, british consultant firms like Ricardo do a lot of develoment for different brands and a significant portion of Formula 1 teams are UK based.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @piffpaff,
            Correct, they are developing more cutting edge Automotive specialist firms, that are having a much greater Global impact that someone driving a British car of the 1950’s could have even dreamed of.

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            Well historically, it looks like the Brits, no matter how enthusiastic they are about cars, and how good their expertise is on certain details and technologies, they can’t be allowed to produce cars all by them selves without either loosing money, or turning it into rustbuckets that spontaneously combust.
            As a car enthusiast, I can’t say that I subjectively like all the cars made in Britain now any better than whay they made themselves in the past, but at least now there seems to be some quality cars build there, with a profit. (My CRV is built in Swindon, please tell me the Japanese still have some eyes on the ground in that factury?)

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Zykotec,
            Your comments could easily be applied to US car makers or other nations products.No the Brits have dramatically improved in that respect.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        You could say that about a certain “American” car company too.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I’m waiting for one of these to show up at the local dealer (expected in the middle of March here)I’m going to at least have a look, and maybe test drive, but I don’t see my self trading in the CRV in a (used) touring , until the smaller kids have grown out of their ‘thrones’. The hatchback already used to have very good interior space compared to most european offerings, but the basic body is ready for an update, even if it had a substantial facelift a couple of years ago. Honda still has a long way to go before they are competiive in any other segment than crossovers.
    PS: Why won’t they call it ‘Aerodeck’?

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Bring the Civic hatch back to North America!

  • avatar
    CRConrad

    This is the perfect example of why proper estates really, really need their own bespoke rear side doors, and should NOT use the same ones as their hatchback or sedan sibling models. (Unless those are REALLY boxy sedans. Volvo may have gotten away with it on the 700 series, but nobody has since, that I know of.)


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