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by Tim Beissmann

Sketches of a new Honda Civic Type R concept have been released, previewing the highly anticipated hot-hatch that’s confirmed to launch in 2015.

To be unveiled at this week’s Paris motor show, the blue Civic Type R concept is a mildly updated version of the red concept that debuted at the Geneva motor show in March.

The Civic Type R concept’s sporty styling is almost unchanged from that of the original concept, suggesting it’s likely to give an accurate impression of next year’s production model.

Honda Civic Type-R Concept Photograph: James Lipman +44 7803 885275

Joining the sketches are new technical details of Honda’s high-performance hatchback hero.

The Type R’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine will produce in excess of 206kW of power, will redline at 7000rpm, and will be paired exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission.

The Civic Type R will also debut Honda’s new ‘+R’ performance mode button. When pressed, Honda says the steering wheel-mounted button heightens engine response by altering the torque mapping, makes the steering more responsive, and tweaks the new four-point adaptive damper system for enhanced handling performance.

Honda Civic Type-R ConceptPhotograph: James Lipman +44 7803 885275

Honda Civic Type R large project leader Suehiro Hasshi describes the difference in the vehicle’s character after pressing the +R button as “immense”.

“In default standard mode the Civic Type R is exceptionally agile – an everyday sports car with an enjoyable and fluid acceleration,” Hasshi said.

“The +R button brings out a more dynamic and athletic car for the driver, to set pulses racing. The +R mode is extreme; the car is ideal for track use and will be appreciated by the genuine sports-driving enthusiast.”

In its attempts to reduce torque steer, Honda has equipped the front suspension with an additional mechanical system with two supporting kingpins.

Honda Civic Type-R Concept Photograph: James Lipman +44 7803 885275

Hasshi said the decision to offer the new Civic Type R only with a manual transmission was taken to “maximise driving enjoyment”.

“The manual transmission allows the drivers to select the gear they want, for example, down from fifth to third when approaching a corner. The concept of the new Civic Type R is to be the complete driver’s car so this was the best option.”

Honda says the new Civic Type R has been “developed and engineered for European driving tastes”. It will be produced at the Japanese company’s Swindon plant in the UK and will go on sale during 2015.

Honda Australia says the Civic Type R is “definitely high on our wish list” but says it is still not confirmed for our our market at this stage. It says if the car is confirmed for Australia, as expected, a local launch would take place sometime after the introduction of the car in Europe.

The local division has previously revealed its enthusiasm to offer the new Civic Type R in our market as soon as it’s available to us.

Stay tuned for more details of the new Honda Civic Type R from this week’s Paris motor show.




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