Outlandish hot hatch gears up for first Nurburgring laps as reveal date approaches.
Honda has officially acknowledged the development of a new Civic Type R for the first time, confirming the next iteration of its VW Golf R rival will launch in 2022.
The Type R is said to be “ready for Nürburgring testing”, and the official preview image shows the car in much less camouflage than our previous spy shots. The brand has yet to confirm a precise launch date, but given it appears to be nearly production-ready, we would anticipate a full unveiling at the beginning of 2022.
Honda’s official image confirms that the rival to the likes of the Renault Megane RS, Volskwagen Golf R and Hyundai i30 N won’t be radically different from its predecessor externally. The overall body shape, with its low, wide stance, sedan-style bootlid and big rear wing is familiar, while distinctive triple-exit exhaust pipes anf red brake calipers provide another nod to its performance potential.
A close look at our spy shots reveals the spoiler features a new raised mounting, while the smaller lip spoiler on the bootlid no longer appears to dissect the rear window. Further visible changes include a lower shoulder line, a lower bonnet line and lower headlights, as previewed by the reveal of the standard Civic hatchback ahead of its launch in 2022.
A view of the interior shows what looks like different steering wheel and dashboard designs, alongside a dashtop-mounted touchscreen, although it’s difficult to draw conclusions from this early prototype.
Honda’s electrification plans were accelerated last year with the aim of making all the brand’s European sales electrified by 2022, but notably that goal applies to only the brand’s “mainstream” products; the Type R is an enthusiast-oriented proposition that accounts for only a small percentage of sales.
So it remains a possibility that the Type R will forge ahead with an upgraded and enhanced version of the current car’s 2.0-litre turbo four, which sends 236kW to the front axle for a 0-100km/h time of 5.8secs and a top speed of up to 270km/h.
But it has also been suggested that it could use a hybrid powertrain linked in concept to that of the NSX supercar, which mates a twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 with three electric motors. It’s unclear whether that means four-wheel drive, but it’s likely if Honda goes full-hybrid in this way.
Such a development would also give Honda more performance potential, as engineers have previously hinted the current car is close to to the realistic limit in terms of power put through only the front wheels.