Speaking with CarAdvice at Honda's research and development centre in Tochigi, Japan, Honda Australia director Stephen Collins agreed the brand had been missing its sporty edge for the past few years and that it “desperately needs to get more sports cars” in its range.
“I think the performance edge over the last few years has been missing, our announcement of NSX returning and our strong desire to get Civic Type R indicates how important that performance edge is to Honda,” Collins said.
CarAdvice drove a Honda Civic Type R prototype in Japan this week, but Honda says the car won’t be available until at least 2015. It will also use the current-generation Civic as its underpinnings, making its introduction very late in the model’s life cycle.
Collins said Honda Australia would take the Civic Type R as soon as it could, but also believes a $25,000-$35,000 sports car would be very desirable in its range, despite Honda having no current plans to produce such a car.
He says the arrival of the Civic Type R in 2015 and NSX in 2016 will represent a fresh start for Honda’s once-lost sports car program.
“When we are in a position to confirm Type R, that will go a long way to confirm our sports car base with NSX. I think that both those cars have a rich, strong heritage and loyal owner base and I feel that it’s Honda’s DNA,” Collins said.
The Honda Civic Type R will use the turbocharged 2.0-litre engine but Honda refuses to confirm if another vehicle will make use of that engine prior to its arrival in the hotted-up Civic.