What: The new ‘911 GT3’ of hot hatches
When: Late 2022
Why: To create the ultimate driver’s hot hatch
Honda gave us our first official look at the replacement for its post-NSX halo sports car – the all-new Civic Type R. These images of the new model not only show off its toned down styling, but also make it clear that Honda knows the importance of the Type R heritage.
Look closely at the camouflage wrap and you’ll see silhouettes of the previous Type R models, including the 1997 original, the 2007 sedan and hatch, the turbocharged 2015 model and the just-replaced 2017 hatch.
Trying to fill the place of the 2017 ‘FK8’ model will be a tall order for this new-generation, as that model was praised for its dynamic ability. It was called by many the ‘Porsche 911 GT3’ of hot hatches, because of its sharp handling and potent engine that made it a driver’s dream on road or track.
Here’s what we know about the new Civic Type R, which is expected to make its official debut – undisguised – in 2022.
As the images clearly show, despite the camo, is the more simplistic look of the new model. That’s because the out-going model featured a very busy aerodynamic package that was polarising.
Based on the latest Civic, the Type R still gets several unique elements including its more aggressive front splitter, wider wheel arches and a large rear wing, but it’s a much cleaner appearance overall.
Underneath the skin it reportedly features an updated and upgraded version of the out-going Civic. And that’s not a bad thing because, as mentioned earlier, the sharply-tuned chassis and suspension was lauded by experts so it didn’t need to be thrown away.
Also clearly visible in these images are bigger Brembo brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres that will only add to the excellent driving experience.
What we’ll find under the bonnet is still unclear, with the most likely scenario being an updated version of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine – but electrification has also been rumoured.
There have been reports that Honda will add an electric motor (possibly two) to the rear axle, in addition to the 2.0-litre turbo, to give the Type R both a power boost but also all-wheel drive. That would push performance to sports car levels, with a potential 300kW of grunt available to the driver.
However, that’s yet to be confirmed by Honda and would add both complexity and price to the already premium hot hatch (it previously started at $54,990).
While a hybrid is a possibility, the more likely option is an improved version of the current engine, upping the power from 228kW and 400Nm. One likely hint that Honda is leaning in that direction is the three-tip exhaust, which carries over from the old model.
A six-speed manual is all-but-certain but it remains to be seen if Honda will add an automatic option to better compete against the similarly-equipped Volkswagen Golf GTI, Hyundai i30 N and Ford Focus ST.