These new spy photos reveal a prototype for what looks like a future Honda Civic Type-R.
The regular Civic hatch went on sale in 2011, and the company has built go-faster Type-R hot hatch versions for the past two generations.
This is the first evidence that a new one is in the pipeline. CAR's sources suggest we'll see the new Civic Type-R in 2013.
Honda Civic Type-R: the 2013 iteration
No, we wouldn't expect to see a whopping great big rear spoiler on the back of the Type-R either. It's likely that the engineers are playing with the aero package ahead of deciding on the roadgoing car's design.
Although Honda has shied away from performance derivatives in recent years, company top brass has pledged to return Honda to its sporting roots.
Hence the NSX concept car shown at the 2012 Detroit auto show. And we hear more Type-R sports derivatives are coming to add some zing to a brand whose allure has become slightly dulled in recent years.
What can we expect of the next Civic Type-R?
Honda is busy rolling out a new family of engines, one of which will likely power the 2013 Civic Type-R. Under the catch-all banner of Earth Dreams Technology (how Honda is that?), the company has pledged to lower CO2 emissions by 30% by 2020.
That'll be achieved through a mix of engine tech, downsizing, hybrids and pure electric vehicles. We expect, however, that the new Civic Type-R will stick with a more conventional VTEC engine, rather than use an NSX-alike hybrid solution.
What with the new Focus ST, VW Golf GTI and Vauxhall Astra VXR looming, it seems that we may be about to repeat the 1980s all over again - with a batch of fun hot hatches to add interest to humdrum mainstream cars.