This is all you need to know about the next Honda Civic Type R, the most exciting hot hatchback launch of 2022
Honda has confirmed that its all-new Civic Type R will be revealed on July 21st, signalling the end of a development period that’s been teasing us with lap records and barely disguised prototypes for months. Alongside the new hot hatchback, the year 2022 also represents a couple of big milestones for Honda as the Civic is turning 50, having debuted in 1972, while the Type R badge is celebrating 25 years its first application on the EK Civic in 1997.
Back here in 2022, the latest ‘FL5’ Civic Type R is already breaking lap records as its predecessors did, having taken the front-wheel drive record at Suzuka Circuit with a time of 2:23.120 seconds, 0.873 seconds faster than the previous generation Type R Limited Edition. Yet its biggest triumph against the stopwatch is likely still to come, with Honda confirming that it’ll be gunning for the big one – the Nürburgring Nordschleife – a lap record claimed by the previous FK8 Civic Type R, before it was beaten by the Renault Megane RS Trophy-R with a time of 7:40.1.
Honda’s new Civic Type R will be based on the standard 11th generation Civic, which in Europe is only with hybrid powertrains and a CVT transmission. However, the new Type R is expected to stick with the tried and trusted KC201 turbocharged four-cylinder engine, with power expected to be increased over the previous generation’s 316bhp.
Honda’s other global markets haven’t been quite so patient in the reveal of high performance derivatives of the new Civic, with the USA already revealing the warm Civic Si, typically a watered down variant of the full Type R in North American markets. So while we won’t get the Si in Europe, it does reveal much of what our Type R will look like, particularly inside the cabin, and the news is good.
The new Civic Type R’s overall proportions will remain largely unchanged from the previous model, which is both longer and wider than a majority of its rivals, but in comparison to the standard 11th generation Civic hatchback will feature significantly wider tracks front and rear. Like the FK8, this will require wider wheel arches front and rear, but unlike the stick-on units of the last model look to be fully integrated into the bodywork.
The previous Type R’s fairly extreme design appears to have been toned down, mirroring the standard Civic’s smoother aesthetic with a more cohesive design that incorporates motifs brought across from the FK8. These include a high-mounted rear wing and triple exhaust outlets, combined with what look like a more subtly integrated rear diffuser, splitter and skirts.
The prototypes also look to be running 20-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin tyres, but the specific rubber that’ll be used on European models still remains to be confirmed.
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The interior will have a significant step up in both quality and interface. Gone is the current Type R’s complex collection of angular plastics, in its place is a far more restrained and resolved design with a single horizontal air vent dominating the dash. The new high-mounted screen looks clearer and larger, while the Type R’s semi-digital instrument cluster has been replaced with a brilliantly clear set of analogue dials – this is excellent news.
Things are also different around the centre console, with the six-speed manual gear stick in a smaller opening mounted to one side. This will likely be shared with the new Type R, but we expect its key elements to be fitted like the more aggressive buckets, and hopefully an Alcantara steering wheel and solid aluminium gear knob.
We now can also confirm that the new Type R will be sourced out of the Yorii factory in Japan, where all European-market Civics are due to be sourced from. Previously, all European-market Civics have been assembled in the UK, but after the shutdown of Honda’s Swindon assembly plant, question marks over where, and more importantly when, the Civic was due were highlighted.
This change of factory is likely part of the cause of its delay, not to mention the continued battles with the supply chain chaos that’s affecting all automotive sectors, but Honda UK has at least confirmed it will be available, unlike many of Japan’s recent performance reboots like the Nissan Z and Subaru WRX. So while there will be a wait for the new Civic Type R, if the new model is able to combine the previous model’s class-leading driving experience with a sleeker design, we’ll consider that a win.
This article originally appeared at evo.co.uk
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