THIS week sees the unveiling of the Civic Concept, a five-door hatchback exclusively developed for the European market.

The styling of the Civic Concept is very close to that of the mass production model that will be introduced in early 2006. It was designed to appeal to our customers' emotions, with a wider and lower body that achieves a distinct sporty style that is unique to Honda.

The model previews the all-new eighth generation Civic which will continue to be built at Honda's Swindon manufacturing plant - and which will be sold worldwide in two, three, four and five-door variants. Honda will continue to offer an IMA (petrol electric) four-door Civic for Europe and in other markets a natural gas powered model.

The concept car on display shows the intention of moving the new Civic into a more sporty, emotional and fun to drive direction, while retaining the user friendliness and practical features which have made the existing model so successful - Civic continues to be the top selling British built hatchback in its class, in the UK.

It will offer class-leading performance with excellent environmental and safety technologies. It will feature the award-winning 2.2 i-CTDi diesel engine, as well as a state-of-the-art petrol engine line up. In the area of safety, every model in the new Civic line-up is planned to be equipped with the most advanced features in its class, including Vehicle Stability Assist system and side curtain airbags.