Auto shows aren't full of surprises these days--most new cars show up on the Internet long before the covers come off at a major auto show.

That wasn't the case here at the New York Auto Show, where Honda sprang a genuine surprise on the world with a concept-car preview of the next-generation Civic.

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First of all, let's address the obvious. Honda calls this a concept car, but it's obviously very close to production. It blends styling elements of the CR-V and Accord in an exciting way--and we haven't been excited about a Civic in a while.

The company says the new Civic will go on sale this fall as a four-door sedan, but that won't be the only Civic offered. The sedan will eventually be followed by a two-door coupe like this one. Not only that, Honda promises the U.S. will finally get the five-door Civic hatchback sold now in other countries.

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When it goes on sale later this year, the 10th-generation Civic will come with a range of four-cylinder engines, including a new turbocharged 1.5-liter turbo four, teamed with either a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission.

It's possible the Civic Hybrid could return to the lineup, but Honda hasn't said anything about its future hybrid plans.

For performance fans, there will be a new Si and, as Honda promised here in New York, the hotter Type-R will also make its way to the U.S.

There's not much other information about what's upcoming in the new Civic, but we expect it to be introduced in production form sometime this fall--maybe as late as October's Tokyo Motor Show.

Learn more about the Honda Civic Concept here.

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