Honda is preparing its final opus of the Civic lineup with the upcoming Civic Type R. As you know, I’m a huge fan of the current generation Civic. It’s a car that no matter in which configuration you get it in, sedan, coupe, or hatchback, pushes way above its weight by offering consumers a hell of a lot of car for the price, while bringing back the classic, fun-to-drive Honda driving experience. And now, we’re finally getting the freakin’ Type R. So get excited.
This is awesome, since we are just a few months away from the official launch. I had the opportunity to be invited by Honda for a special Canadian unveiling of the prototype in Montreal the evening before the 2017 auto show. Although Honda is remaining very tight lipped about the Civic R, here’s what we should expect.
We know the European Civic Type R pumped out 306 hp from a 2.0L, turbocharged four cylinder which sent the power to the front wheels (!!) via a 6-speed manual. Many speculate that this engine will be carried over to our Type R, but since this Civic on steroids has its crosshairs aimed directly at the Ford Focus RS, which makes 350 hp with AWD, there are rumors that Honda’s hot hatch will make north of 340 hp. Now that would be insane if it were to remain front-wheel drive.
Although the European Honda Civic Type R does benefit from a new and very tricky “double-knuckle” front suspension setup, and a limited-slip differential to prevent torque steer, I’m still waiting for a surprise from Honda on that front. If you want my honest opinion, making the Civic Type R all-wheel drive would make a lot more sense, especially considering that its competitors, the Focus RS, VW Golf R, and Subaru WRX STI all come with 4-wheel propulsion.
With Honda’s surprise announcement that the Civic Si will be powered by the 1.5T instead of the 2.0T, anything is possible at this point. What would make sense would be to fit the Civic Type R with Acura’s excellent SH-AWD system to help put down all this glorious turbo power to the ground.
I peaked underneath this concept to see if I could spot mechanical components out back – unfortunately, there weren’t any.
However, I’m glad to confirm that this Civic R will come with a slick-shifting, 6-speed manual only. No CVT or dual clutch transmission for this hot hatch – you better Honda. And after rowing that shifter myself, I can assure you that it will be Honda-typical snikety snick.
There’s also an R button next to that shifter. I can’t wait to see what that does. Other interesting features on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R is a factory installed widebody kit, complete with fonctional air outlets, possibly to help evacuate the intense heat generated by that fire-breathing turbo engine.
And I’m really digging those Recaro racing seats.
We should all be totally psyched about the fact that we’re finally getting a real performance Honda on our roads again. We’ve been begging for a Civic type R for years, and now we’re getting it. For the moment, no official pricing has been announced. I’m guessing somewhere in the 45k range, very much like the Focus RS. Expect more information to come out about this radical new hot-hatch, as well as the soon to be released Civic Si at the 2017 New York auto show, where Civic announcements are traditionally made. Damn, I can’t wait!
Follow Clavey’s adventures at claveyscorner.com