Honda Motor Europe will show its redesigned UK-built Civic Type R at Geneva though sales don't start until early 2007.

It's based on the redesigned Civic three-door hatchback model which will go on sale across Europe later this year.

The engine, largely carried over from the previous model, is a 200PS two-litre, DOHC i-VTEC unit.

The previous model was exported to the US and Europe but Honda has axed the hatchback versions from the redesigned Civic model line sold in North America, Japan and Asia, and now sells only the sedans there.

HME will also launch the European-specification Legend at Geneva with a standard 295PS 3.5-litre, 24-valve, V6.

The Legend line, first launched in the mid-1980s, has long been Honda's technology showpiece sedan and the automaker describes its latest generation as "a technological tour de force".

Amongst a a wide array of safety-enhancing driving aids is Honda's original super handling all-wheel-drive system (SH-AWD) which complements the vehicle stability assist programme. The automaker says SH-AWD is more than just a conventional four-wheel drive system with front-to-rear torque variation and, by means of a pair of electromagnetic clutches in the rear axle, is capable of proportioning the torque between left and right rear wheels.

When accelerating during cornering, SH-AWD accelerates the outer rear wheel, which helps the car to turn in more readily. If the car is decelerating during cornering, the torque balance is controlled to counteract oversteer. The result is extremely neutral handling and outstanding vehicle stability.

Other features fitted as standard include dual stage front airbags; side and curtain airbags; a Bose premium audio system; AudioPilot active noise cancellation, which neutralises road, wind and other intrusive noises by sending out an opposite phase signal through the audio system;active front lighting system (AFS) featuring directional lighting; keyless entry; satellite navigation with a voice recognition function and RDS-TMS to help the driver plot a route around traffic congestion; and a rear view camera to assist parking.

The Legend's pedestrian protection measures include a standard pop-up bonnet, one of the first of its kind on the European market. Activation by a pyrotechnic device, in the event of an impact, occurs in milliseconds and its effect is to help cushion the pedestrian's body.

Adaptive cruise control (ACC) is available as an option. The system uses information from a grille-mounted radar system to measure the distance to a vehicle ahead and, via the cruise control system, regulates vehicle speed and vehicle distance.

ACC is supplemented by the collision mitigation brake system (CMBS), which predicts potential collision situations and reacts to reduce the impact on occupants and vehicle damage by activating driver warnings, initiating braking and, via E-pretensioners, retracting seatbelts in readiness.

In addition, right-hand drive models sold in Europe can also be optioned with lane keeping assist system (LKAS), another device already seen on the 2006 Accord Euro. This system uses a camera mounted behind the top of the windscreen to identify the lane in which the vehicle is travelling and to correct any deviation via an appropriate input to the steering.

Honda will also show its latest FCX Concept fuel cell vehicle at Geneva - the model was first revealed at the Tokyo show last year.

 Graeme Roberts