2017 Honda CivicEnlarge Photo
Plenty of automakers like to throw a little something special into their vehicles, but sometimes, it can take a bit of searching before a hidden trait reveals itself. Take the tenth-generation Honda Civic for example.
Specifically, the 2017 Honda Civic sedan and coupe house a seriously cool Easter egg that has only now been discovered, well after the two vehicles hit dealers. In fact, Honda designers and engineers did such a good job at hiding it, Honda public relations wasn't even aware according to Car and Driver.
So what is it? Digging into the center console of a Civic EX trim or higher will reveal a rubber spill mat at the bottom. Flip it over and voila, there's an incredibly detailed account of Honda's innovation and motorsport history. There are four designs in total, each unique and showcasing various accomplishments from the Japanese automaker.
Design number one shows the Honda RA106 F1 car, Honda S800, Honda RC213V motorcycle, and HondaJet. This one mostly revolves around motorsports, save for the HondaJet, which actually appears in all four designs. The RA106 represents Honda's return to F1 racing in 2006 after leaving the sport in 1968. The S800 represents another great era in Honda motorsport: the little Honda that could won the GT-1 class endurance race at Suzuka the same year Honda hung up its F1 team. Finally, the RC213V motorcycle completes the imagery.
Moving on to design number two, we're treated to the Honda RC166 motorcycle and McLaren Honda MP4/4. This one's a no-brainer, picturing the legendary Aryton Senna driving his MP4/4 racer. Senna would go on to contribute to Honda's New Sportscar Experimental, also known as the original Honda/Acura NSX. The RC166 motorcycle features Jim Redman, a six-time Grand Prix world champion.
Design number three is heavy on innovation. This stamping prominently features Asimo, Honda's robotic buddy it introduced years ago. There's also an NS500 motorcycle with Freddie Spencer piloting the bike. Spencer won the 1983 championship with the NS500.
Finally, design number four features more Honda vehicles but reaches further back into the company's archives. Foremost, the Curtiss Special race car is pictured, which hails from the 1920s. Fans will note Honda itself wasn't established until 1948. So, what gives? The Curtiss Special is closely related to the company's founder. Soichiro Honda himself was a riding mechanic for the car and placed first in the Fifth Japan Motorcar Championship. Shinichi Sakakibara piloted the car to victory.
Additionally, in design number four, we see the Honda RA272 race car. The RA272 represents Honda's very first F1 victory in 1965, a Richie Ginther win at the Mexican GP.
It's downright cool that Honda went through the time and effort to depict these scenes in each new Civic coupe and sedan, even though the rubber matting will be protecting against soda and coffee spills most of the time. Unfortunately, the excellent Civic hatchback isn't in on the fun.