Of all the things that excited us about the Honda Civic Concept that debuted this week at the New York Auto Show, and, believe me, there are plenty, perhaps the most exciting was the promise that performance models will be headed Stateside after the launch of the Sedan and Coupe variants go on sale later this year.
And, of course, by performance models, we mean Si and Type R. While Si is tantalizing, sure, it’s the Type R that has our teeth chattering with excitement.
What might that new, American-bound Type R – the sportiest Civic ever — look and act like? Let’s discuss.
If you’re thinking it’ll just be the same Type R we saw last month in Geneva, think again. Honda is coming with an all-new, global platform, so it should handle much better than anything the engineers can squeeze from the current platform. Not to mention a heck of a lot handsome and sleek.
Looking at the Concept, we’re given what could be a very good glimpse at a production, next-gen Type R. After all, that front fascia is too aggressive for grandma to consider as a gold-painted grocery-getter.
Though we love the coupe, we know that Honda will be bringing the Type R in five-door form, which will be built exclusively in Britain. Along with a big wing and some bright paint, this should put it squarely up against the likes of the Subaru WRX STI and the Ford Focus RS.
The recently unveiled Type R features a 305-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which has its power routed to the front wheels through a six-speed manual. There are chances the next-gen, global Type R could receive this same engine. I, however, doubt it. I am betting Honda will unveil a new turbo VTEC 2.0 to one-up Ford and Subaru. “You need 2.5 and 2.3 liters? Flimshaw! We only need 2.0!”
Hoping for all-wheel drive? Don’t. It’s not going to happen. Frankly, the Type R doesn’t need it. The current one just broke the Nurburgring lap record for a FWD car. And if Honda engineers can keep that lineage going with some improved chassis and torque vectoring technology, they’ll gladly save the time, money, and weight and stick to a front-drive setup.
I – like virtually every other American not currently in a coma – am very excited about not only the 10th-gen Civic but also the next Type R. So believe that the rest of the Digital Trend Cars and I team will be all over it. So check back for more news soon.
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