The next-generation Honda Civic Type-R hot hatch is still 100 per cent on track for an Australian launch before the end of 2017, the company’s local chief said today.
This means hotted-up Honda diehards will soon be able to get their hands on a rejoinder to the all-conquering Ford Focus RS.
The imminent return of the Type-R badge to Australian shores before the end of next year marks a return of an iconic badge that has been dormant here since 2012. It’ll arrive six months after the tamer versions of the Civic hatch.
As we know, the company’s local arm was never able to bring to most recent generation of the badge, a track warrior, due to massive European demand and limited production.
Now, though, Honda makes no secret that it is fighting hard to regain lost mojo, and that means developing performance cars in a more timely manner, and sending them to key markets all over the globe.
“Performance-wise it’ll be outstanding,” said Honda Australia director Stephen Collins today.
“I think last time we sold around 2000 Type-Rs, so we have a huge volume out there and we’ll bring the best Type-R to the market. And when I say that, we really think this’ll have all the sporty attributes the badge is famous for.”
“It’ll certainly be on sale next year, and it’ll be competitively priced, for sure,” he added
Pictured: Honda Civic hatch concept
While we don’t know all the specifics of the car yet, it’ll once again be based only on the Civic hatch, and will be built in the UK. It’ll also build on the outgoing Type-R’s outputs of 231kW/400Nm, though expect a 2.0-litre turbo to remain the unit of choice.
As we understand it, Honda will also stick with a front-wheel drive configuration unlike the AWD Focus. The company apparently wants it to be to fastest FWD car around Germany’s famous Nurburgring circuit.
Expect the company to also retain the six-speed manual gearbox as the shifter of choice, just like the Ford, but unlike the Volkswagen Golf R and the next-generation of the Renault Megane Sport, which will likely offer manual and auto options.
“I think our enthusiast base is crying out for a manual, thats the configuration we think will work for us,” said Honda Australia general manager of customer and communications, Scott McGregor.
“I don’t think it will impact volumes, if you see what’s happening with Focus RS [a car that has huge waiting lists]. If we went the other way and only had auto I don’t think that’d be acceptable to the market.”
McGregor said the company’s local arm had enquiries regarding a Type-R replacement going back years, and that the forthcoming pre-sale website for the next model was likely to “go bananas”.
Are you a Honda Civic Type-R owner or enthusiast? Are you excited to finally get your hands on a successor?