Next Honda Civic Type R to target front-wheel-drive 'Ring record
Honda has previewed the next Type R hot hatchback, which will go on sale late next year
The concept is based on the 2017 Honda Civic and will influence a production model that is confirmed to go on sale in the second half of next year after a world debut at the 2017 Geneva motor show in March.
The future model will be the first Type R sold in the US market, and will be built to set a new benchmark for front-wheel-drive performance cars. A new Nürburgring lap record will be part of its target list, meaning the model will have to be faster than the current fastest front-driven car, the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S, and forthcoming rival, the 2018 Renault Mégane RS.
Styling features on the concept include wider air vents than the regular Civic, smoked LED headlights and a new air intake on the bonnnet. New skirts made from carbon fibre help to gibe the car a more aggressive look, alongside 20in alloy wheels shod with performance tyres. The car’s wheel arches are also flared. At the back, there’s a new fixed spoiler, and three exhaust outlets.
Powering the front wheels of the next Type R will likely be a modified version of the current car’s 306bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine.
Honda says the new Type R will be made alongside the regular Civic at its Swindon factory. It will be exported to global markets including the US – marking the first time the Type R has been sold in North America.
Honda says the future model will slightly increase on the current Type R’s £30,000 starting price. It will be offered with a GT trim-level like the current car.
The current Civic Type R was launched only last year, and competes against the Ford Focus RS, Audi RS3 Sportback, VW Golf R and Mercedes-AMG A45. Giving the current model only two years of production will likely increase demand – and turn the car into a collector’s item – with just 2500 units due to be sold in Britian.
The current Type R, a halo product for Honda alongside the NSX supercar, currently accounts for 4% of Civic sales.