Forbidden fruit: Honda Civic Type-R gets turbocharged engine with 280 hp

honda civic type r gets turbocharged earth dreams engine with 280 hp prototype

Just prior to the Tokyo Motor Show, Honda teased enthusiasts worldwide with a prototype of the next Civic Type-R, featuring a new turbocharged engine.

The prototype is based on the Civic five-door hatchback sold abroad. Dressed in black, with widened fenders and a cartoonish rear spoiler, the Type-R has the poise of an X-Wing with S-foils locked in attack position. It’s the latest in a long line of hot Civics that have never been sold in the United States. Instead, we get the watered-down Si version.

As exciting as the exterior appears, the real action is under the hood. The latest Type-R features the new VTEC Turbo 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, part of Honda’s Earth Dreams line of fuel-efficient motors.

Earth Dreams is Honda’s answer to Ford’s EcoBoost and Mazda’s Skyactiv. Like its competitors, Honda is trying to extract the maximum amount of fuel efficiency from a given powertrain without resorting to hybridization.

That means making a move some Honda fans might find sacrilegious.

As the name suggests, the 2.0-liter engine is turbocharged. Honda has never been big on turbos, relying on its VTEC variable valve timing system to make power instead. Other than the City Turbo microcar and first-generation Acura RDX crossover, there haven’t been many turbocharged Hondas.

This one might win some converts, though. Honda says it produces over 280 horsepower.

The 2.0-liter VTEC Turbo will be one of three turbocharged Earth Dreams engines launching soon. A 1.0-liter three-cylinder, and 1.5-liter four-cylinder will follow the 2.0-liter to showrooms.

These engines have already been confirmed for Europe and Japan, but not the U.S. Hopefully Honda will take pity on American enthusiasts and send it over.

Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.

The Galaxy S10 may be announced before MWC, sell for up to $1,750

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.

2019 Ford Ranger saves fuel without sacrificing towing capacity

The 2019 Ford Ranger marks Ford's long-awaited return to the midsize truck segment, which has seen a resurgence lately. But will being late to the party make Ford's job more difficult?
Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.

The redesigned 2020 Passat shows Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm has released a teaser sketch to preview the redesigned 2020 Passat it will introduce during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti has released a teaser image to preview a concept it will unveil at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The yet-unnamed design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language.