New Honda Civic Type R Ready for 2017

Honda wants the new Civic Type R-previewed in Paris by a thinly veiled concept-to be the “best-ever front-wheel-drive hot hatch” when it goes on sale late next year after a Geneva show debut in March.

Honda kept technical details close to its chest at Paris, but Autocar understands the Civic Type R will remain front- wheel drive in a class that’s increasingly dominated by all-wheel-drive models.


Show car is close to the look of the production car

Honda will rely on the new Civic’s wider chassis to improve grip and handling stability, along with a new aerodynamic package that includes two rear spoilers and a front splitter.

“We have a lot more downforce from the design and aero package,” Type R chief designer Daisuke Tsutamori said.


Diffuser and two spoilers at the rear are part of an aero package

Tsutamori’s design features an unusual front end, with airflow to the engine bay split between three vents: a conventional lower vent, a narrow central grille and slot-like upper grille.

The area of the central grille is reduced by a plastic moulding that mounts a prominent Honda ‘H’ badge but also functions as part of the Type R’s pedestrian protection crash impact hardware.

Tsutamori emphasised that the Paris show car was a concept, but he admitted that it was “as close to the production car as possible”.


With its snarling front end, high-set rear spoiler and huge wheels set at each corner, it certainly makes a statement.

“The difference between the current Type R and the new one is that the new one has been designed in from the start of the programme,” said Honda’s UK managing director, Phil Crossman.

As a result, it can use the new Civic’s multi-link rear axle. The outgoing model had to be converted from the Civic’s standard twist beam to a new multi-link set-up, eating up engineering time and resources.


Power is expected to rise, although the exact output remains unclear. One source said that “306PS [302bhp] will be the minimum”. That’s what the current Type R’s turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine produces.

However, Honda won’t discuss whether the power output of the new Civic Type R will move nearer to the 350bhp of the Ford Focus RS and Mercedes-AMGA45- both of them four-wheel drive. The Volkswagen Golf R is also all-­wheel driveyet has 300bhp.


Keeping 350bhp under control in a front-wheel-drive chassis will prove a tricky challenge, although the new Type R is tipped to deploy a limited-slip differential once again. However, details of that will also be revealed later.

Honda UK reckons it will sell around 1000 a year – about the same as today’s Type R, which is destined to have a short model life of just over two years by the end of next year.




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