The Honda Civic Type R legacy is long and renowned, and in a strange cosmic twist the future and the past crossed paths this week.
Reports from renowned Japanese outlet Best Motoring suggest the current Type R – a multiple award winner – could be bestowed with go-fast bits from the NSX, while a Y2K classic Civic Type R has passed over the auction block for a scarcely believable sum.
While there’s nothing in the way of confirmation from Honda about the current FK8’s next tweak, the Japanese report makes a lot of sense in a number of ways for Honda’s hi-po hero.
Currently powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that sends its prodigious output to the front end, the reports emanating from Japan suggest – quite logically – that the Type R will adopt a rear electric-motor hybrid architecture.
The idea makes a pile of sense, too, because Honda already has a ready-made system that can be incorporated into the Type R at relatively little expense.
Used in the NSX and – more importantly for a mass-market car like the Type R – the Japan-only Legend luxury sedan, the compact two-motor unit, known as the (deep breath) Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, can be set up so that each motor works independently to provide rear steer and traction.
The SH-AWD system in the Legend
The rear-mounted motor unit contains two 27kW motors that, in conjunction with a third planetary gearset that sits on the front of the unit, can send their torque to the rear wheels. It’s not dissimilar (minus the electric bits) to the Twinster set-up aboard the now-discontinued Ford Focus RS.
The main engine and the two rear motors would also supply charge to a lithium-ion battery pack, thereby giving Honda another hybrid to help its cross-fleet emissions average.
The likely outcome? The 228kW of the current Type R would lift to somewhere around 275kW or so, while the additional rear grip would only help the already limpet-like stick from the front end.
As mentioned, this isn’t a lock for the Honda, and is unlikely to surface until 2022 at the earliest… but given the current love for all things Type R, fans have no problem waiting.
To wit; a first-generation Honda Civic EK Type R – known as the EK9 – has passed over the auction blocks in Japan this week for the eye-watering price of A$101,000 and change
With barely 2500km on the clock, the three-door hot hatch time capsule from 2000 was sold in Yokohama for 7,640,000 yen, and is in absolutely perfect condition… but that’s a lot of money for a 20-year-old Civic!
The 136kW 1.6-litre B16A screamer weighed in at just over 1000kg when new and boasted one of the best power-to-weight figures of the day, along with a host of track-centric bits like a close-ratio gearbox, limited-slip diff and figure-hugging Recaro seats.
Will a 2020 Civic Type R be worth as much in 20 years? Only time will tell.