The current Honda Civic appears bland from most angles, but if the striking Civic Concept unveiled at Geneva on Tuesday is anything to go by, the Japanese manufacturer has some serious plans to change that.

The current Honda Civic appears bland from most angles, but if the striking Civic Concept unveiled at Geneva on Tuesday is anything to go by, the Japanese manufacturer has some serious plans to change that.

Designed primarily with the European market in mind, the five-door concept shows off a wider, lower body construction that instantly gives the car its distinctive sporty style.

Fun to drive, while retaining its user-friendly and practical values, the Civic will, according to Honda, also offer leading environmental and safety technologies. All cars in the line-up will be equipped with advanced safety features including a Vehicle Stability Assist system and side curtain airbags. A host of petrol and turbodiesel engines will be used to power the new range.

The line-up, due for international release early in 2006, will also spearhead Honda's movement into the luxury segment of the market.

At the Civic's unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show, Honda's president Takeo Fukui said, "With all of these changes, the all-new Civic will shift toward the premium end of the class. And we plan to set a new benchmark in the C-segment based on the quality and performance of the new car."

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