Snapped by CarAdvice's photographers lapping Germany’s Nurburgring, and on the road in convoy with a Ford Focus RS500 and an Opel Astra OPC, the new Honda Civic Type-R is clearly eager to tackle the hatchback performance benchmarks.
Though not pictured, our spy photographers tell us a Renault Megane RS265 Trophy – currently the fastest front-wheel-drive car around the 20.8km Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit – was also in the testing group.
Power is expected to come from a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine, which has been helped along in its development by Honda’s participation in the World Touring Car Championship, though figures are as yet unknown.
With Honda forced to stop production of the previous-generation Civic Type-R due to its naturally aspirated 2.0-litre engine failing to meet the emissions regulations of some countries, the new turbocharged unit should improve both performance and efficiency.
Spied in 2012 in mule form, the Type-R sports a new front spoiler with large air intakes, wide guards and both a smaller boot lip spoiler and larger raised rear wing.
Showing the new hot-hatch means business are large brakes with red Brembo calipers up front and four big-aperture exhaust pipes out back.
Honda CEO Takanobu Ito last year confirmed the Japanese manufacturer plans to launch the new Civic Type-R by 2015, as well as snatch the 8min7.79sec front-wheel drive Nurburgring record off the Megane.
Honda Australia has previously stated that the next-gen Civic Type-R is "definitely right up there” on the brand’s wish list to join the local line-up by the middle of the decade.
The last time the Honda Civic Type-R was on sale in Australia was in 2011, with the 148kW/193Nm third-generation priced from new at $39,990.
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