Honda Planning “New Enhancements” to Civic; 2014 Coupe Debuting at SEMA

New roadster also set for preview at Tokyo Motor Show.

by on Oct.25, 2013

Honda is promising to reveal some important changes to the Civic line-up at SEMA -- including this 2014 version of the Civic Si Coupe.

Honda has a pair of significant announcements planned for next month, including what it calls “new enhancements” for the compact Civic line-up due to debut at the upcoming SEMA Show, while a new roadster is coming at November’s biennial Tokyo Motor Show.

In order of significance – certainly from a sales standpoint – the 2014 Civic is the more important of the two new products. And it arrives at an important time considering Honda’s offering will be squaring off against an all-new Toyota Corolla.

The Last Word!

But the Honda S660 also stands out – if for no other reason than the rarity of convertibles within the Japanese maker’s line-up over the decades.  We haven’t seen one from Honda since the old S2000 was pulled from production a few years back. That said, the new model is cautiously being described by that catch-all phrase, “concept,” so it remains to be seen if it will be put into production – or where it would be sold.

The S660 Concept is one of several models that Honda plans to reveal at the Tokyo Motor Show.

For the moment, we do know that the changes Honda is hinting about for the Civic won’t take long to roll into a showrooms nearby. But the Japanese maker is keeping specific details close to the vest, beyond revealing this teaser image of the updated 2014 Civic Si Coupe.

(Click Here for a test drive of the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid.)

This would mark the third significant major update for the Civic line in just a few years.  An all-new version was introduced for the 2012 model-year but took some unexpectedly severe hits from critics – including those as normally friendly as Consumer Reports magazine.  The maker raced what it described as an “emergency refresh” to market in little more than a year, generating significantly improved reviews and sighs of satisfaction from fans.

(Honda one of many makers expanding its manufacturing presence in Mexico. Click Here to find out why.)

So, what’s in store for 2014?

“As one of the key vehicles sparking the original import tuner movement of the late 1980′s and early 1990′s, the Honda Civic has been the platform of choice for those seeking personalization potential and built-in performance coupled with unmatched reliability,” the company said in an accompanying release. “The 2014 Civic Coupe will honor that proud tradition by making its debut among its most ardent fans, displaying multiple variations at the 2013 SEMA Show.”

Look for some design tweaks, such as the changes to the rear wing, bumper, taillights and diffuser seen in the 2014 Honda Civic Si image. Performance enhancements could yield improved output from the 2.4-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine currently rated at 201 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque.

(New Honda Civic the only hybrid among five finalists for Green Car of the Year. Click Herefor more.)

We’ll get some answers barely a week into November, though we’ll have to wait until amid-month to see the sheet metal version of the Honda S660 concept. Again, Honda isn’t saying much, thought the nameplate would suggest a very modest 660 cc engine which, in turn, would provide some hints as to what markets such a model might be aimed at.

And that would seem to be the Japanese home market and a few others where such pint-sized powertrains are considered acceptable.  We’d have a hard time believing that the S660 would come to the U.S., at least not with a significantly bigger engine.

Then again, we know that American buyers have continued to show interest in small roadsters, encouraging Mazda to get to work on a new version of the long-lived MX-5 Miata, while Subaru and Scion have scored modest hits with the roadster twins they jointly developed, designated the BR-Z and FR-S, respectively.

There has been talk of a revival of the old S2000 nameplate but the image here indicates a smaller platform is in use, the S660 concept about the size of a Japanese “kei,” or minicar, with at least some similarities to the tiny EV-STER concept of a few years back. Whether there’s room for one of Honda’s new hybrid powertrains under the skin also remains to be seen, though it’d be an awfully tight fit.

Speaking of “fit,” also look to see the new Fit-based Honda Urban SUV Concept debut at the Tokyo Motor Show next month.

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