The new Honda Civic Type R will, for the first time in Type R history, be powered by a turbocharged engine. That’s the news confirmed today at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show by Honda's European president, Manabu Nishimae, who announced the new hot hatch would employ a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine.
What has Honda officially announced about the Civic Type R at Frankfurt?
Just a teasing hint of the car's performance: 'We have recently spent a week at the Nurburgring, carrying out extensive testing and we are on target, and have already set a time approaching the lap record' said Honda boss Nishimae.
What do we know about the new Honda Civic Type R’s specs?
The 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine will be turbocharged and use direct-injection fuel technology, giving better power delivery and economy than the revvy but torque-light VTEC cars. The power output will be at least 276bhp, all of it being entrusted to the front wheels via a mechanical limited-slip differential. Glimpse the rev counter in the video below and you'll spot the redline is set at 7000rpm: good for a turbo car, but nothing special for a Type R...
We expect trick anti-torque steer front axle hubs (as on the Renaultsport Megane and Ford Focus RS) to be employed to reign in all that poke. As you'll see in the video below, a six-speed manual gearbox is preferred to a paddleshift transmission.
There’s going to be racing driver input too, as per Infiniti’s coup to employ F1 champ Sebastien Vettel as ‘Director of Performance.’ Honda’s veteran World Touring Car Championship driver Gabriele Tarquini is helping to set up the new Type R: Tarquini has won British, European and World Touring Car titles during his career, so clearly knows a thing or two about how to get the best out of a mega-powered hatchback. Honda has already secured the 2013 WTCC constructors' title, with Tarquini winning the American round of the series earlier this month. Bodes well for the road-going version…
Why all the serious hardware for the new Civic Type R?
Fed up of hearing how it’s lost its mojo, Honda is bouncing back with its next hatch by aiming to nick the Nurburgring lap speed record from Renaultsport. The RS Megane 265 Cup is the current front-wheel drive benchmark at the ‘Ring, having established a 8min 7.97sec time back in 2011. Much of Honda’s development work of the new Civic Type R has been taking place on the Nordschliefe, as seen in our spy shots gallery.
Cheekily, Renaultsport took a pot shot at the Civic Type R’s lap time bravado by popping over to Japan with a Megane 265 earlier this month, and setting the front-drive lap record around Honda’s ‘home circuit’ of Suzuka. You can be sure Honda will be back in 2015 to test its mettle.
What’s new cosmetically for the 2015 Civic Type R?
Barely a panel of the regular Civic will be left untouched by the Type R makeover. There’s a new front bumper, with wider air intakes, plus deeper side skirts and blistered wheelarches – there looks to be a sizeable wheelarch vent aft of the front wheels. Larger alloys wrapped in low-profile robber host upgraded Brembo brakes, gripped by sporty red-painted calipers.
Quad exhausts dominate the rear, and there’s a bookcase of a rear wing, like the old £40k Civic Type R Mugen. Unlike every previous Civic Type R, the new model will be available as a five-door only.
When will we see more of the Honda Civic Type R?
Honda has confirmed the new turbocharged Civic Type R will reach European showrooms in 2015.
It’s likely to sport of a price tag of more than £25,000, putting it on a par with the less powerful Renaultsport Megane and VW Golf GTI, but undercutting the 316bhp BMW M135i and 296bhp Audi S3, which both retail for around £30,000.