IMAGES of the British-built Honda Civic Type R have leaked online ahead of yet another unveiling of the car – this time wearing its production skin – at this week’s Geneva Motor Show.
Much like the previous-generation Type R that changed little between concept and reality, the car looks very similar to the Type R Prototype unveiled at last year’s Paris Motor Show. From the front, the only noticeable differences include some different treatment around where the number plate screws into the front bumper, and the washer jets for the halogen headlights.
Otherwise, the four-door Type R keeps much of the muscular stance, including the front splitter’s vertical wingtips, as the prototype car.
Down the rear, the high level of visual excitement remains the same, with a triple-tip exhaust (the middle one isn’t red-rimmed, though), seriously plumped guards and one of the biggest rear wings on the market. The blacked-out diffuser rises higher on the production version than for the concept, and we can’t tell if the carbon fibre skirt that clung to the bottom of the prototype have carried over to the production car.
The Lamborghini-style geometric aerodynamic features that featured on the back of the tailgate of the Paris car look as though they have made it through the production approval process, too.
Honda has been tight-lipped about performance stats so far, but the next-gen Civic Type R is expected to continue sending drive exclusively to the front wheels.
Power is expected to come via a tweaked version of the outgoing model’s 228kW/400Nm K20C1 2.0-litre VTEC four-cylinder turbo petrol screamer – peak power arrived at 6500rpm – fitted to a rev-matching six-speed manual gearbox.
The first of the Honda Civic Type Rs are expected to roll off Honda’s Swindon-based production line in the UK by the middle of this year, but with pent-up demand in Europe, it’s likely to be the end of the year before it arrives in Australia.
Honda hasn’t had a performance version of the Honda Civic hatchback on sale since 2011, making its return highly anticipated. While its lack of all-wheel drive rules out an on-road slugfest with the Ford Focus RS/Volkswagen Golf R fighter, it should take the fight up to the VW Golf GTI, Ford Focus ST and the market’s other highly anticipated hot hatch – the Hyundai i30 N.