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With 320hp on tap, Honda's hottest hatch ever will be well worth the wait

honda civic type r news rumors performance specs
Ronan Glon/Digital Trends

The Honda Civic Type R is a forbidden fruit in the United States. The next-generation model will finally reach our shores, however, and several recent reports suggest it will be well worth the wait.

Power for the next Type R will come from an evolution of the current car’s turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine tweaked to pump out at least 320 horsepower, roughly 15 more than its predecessor, according to Motor1. Front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission will come standard, and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) will be offered at an extra cost in select markets for buyers who prefer a two-pedal setup.

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A limited-slip differential will help keep the prodigious amount of torque steer in check. Honda officials have put long-standing rumors to sleep by confirming the next Type R will not be offered with all-wheel drive or a dual-clutch automatic transmission. Sticking to front-wheel drive saves weight, and it will allow Honda to attempt setting a new record on Germany’s famed Nürburgring track. Rivals Honda, Volkswagen, and Renault have been deploying front-wheel drive super-hatchbacks on the ‘Ring to set headline-grabbing lap records for the past couple of years.

Honda previewed the next-generation Type R with a thinly veiled concept (pictured) introduced during last year’s Paris Auto Show. Based on the British-built hatchback model, the Type R stands out from the regular Civic with a full body kit that includes a deep front bumper with wide air dams, side skirts, a carbon fiber air diffuser, and a huge wing mounted on the trunk lid. The cabin will receive sport seats for the front passengers, and a R-specific instrument cluster with additional gauges.

We expect to see the next-generation Honda Civic Type R make its debut in March during the Geneva Auto Show. If that assumption is correct, it will arrive in showrooms in time for the 2019 model year. Its main rivals will be the Volkswagen Golf R, the Subaru WRX STI, and the Ford Focus RS, three pocket rockets that come standard with all-wheel drive.