If you want a good view of how much the car industry has evolved since the 1970s, check out this morphing animation of the Civic hatchback. Donut Media captures much of the history of the Civic hatch in this short video, starting with the first model from 1973. This clip focuses on performance variants like the Si and Type R, but it still provides a good overview of this incredibly important car.
The Civic hatch started life in 1973 with the revolutionary 55-hp CVCC model. CVCC stood for Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion, which, , was "a design that uses pre-chambers with spark plugs to ignite a richer fuel mixture, which then propagates to the leaner mixture in the combustion chamber in the cylinder." This tech allowed Honda to sell cars in the US without power-robbing catalytic converters, which was a huge deal at time when fuel was expensive and emissions-regulations grew ever strict.
The CVCC Civic seems like a far cry from today's flagship model, the 306-hp Type R, but in a way, it's not. While the 1973 CVCC and the 2017 Type R achieve different aims—saving fuel, and going really, really fast, respectively—they both do so with smart engineering.
That said, they're still really different. Watch the Civic morph right here.