Every new car launched in China has to drop by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to be homologated for the road. Pictures are taken, and on some occasions, these are published on MIIT's official site even before the car in question is properly revealed. That's the story of Honda's 2022 Civic, as even though the sedan has not been unveiled in production guise – only as a prototype – we're being given an early look.

Mind you, we are dealing with the CN-spec version of the compact saloon, meaning the North American model could look a tad different. That being said, we have a feeling Honda has created one unified global model and the changes from one market to another will be kept down to a minimum. The new Civic intended for the People's Republic is shown here in two separate configurations.

Gallery: 2022 Honda Civic Saloon production version for China

We'd wager the one with the black side mirror caps and chunky boot lid spoiler is a higher-end version. You'll also notice it has black wheels and door handles along with different headlights, likely LEDs compared to the cheaper model's old-school bulbs. The "240" badge on the trunk lid suggests both have the same engine, but the fancier one adopts a dual exhaust setup whereas its lesser counterpart has the exhaust hidden under the rear bumper.

To no one's surprise, the road-going Civic is a spitting image of the prototype revealed in mid-November last year. There are some mild changes, such as the addition of fog lights, but we're splitting hairs here. The interior was not revealed in MIIT's images, although we'll remind you Honda teased it when the prototype was unveiled. You can see the sneak preview from the 5:51 mark in the video below.

Honda has promised to introduce the 2022 Civic production model in the first quarter of the year, which can only mean we'll see it before the end of the month. Numerous spy shots have revealed the hatchback is not far behind, while the coupe will not return for the model's eleventh generation. Enthusiasts will be happy to hear there will be a new Civic Si saloon (for North america) and a Civic Type R hatchback, but these will arrive at a later date, complete with three pedals.

The Type R is of particular interest for European folks because it will allegedly go down in history as Honda's last pure petrol car sold on the Old Continent before electrification takes over. There had been rumours about the hot hatch going hybrid, but the latest intel suggests it will soldier on with a petrol-only powertrain, specifically the familiar 2.0-litre turbocharged four-pot. It's said to get a minor bump over the current 306-bhp output while remaining front-wheel drive.

It's already 11 March, meaning the wraps should come off in the following days or weeks.