Has the Honda Civic Type R hot hatch just taken a step closer to its long-anticipated (but not quite official) Australian launch?
The commencement of exports beyond Europe to a fellow right-hand-drive market potentially strengthens Honda Australia’s case to get even limited supply of the Type R for our market.
As we reported recently, Honda Australia is facing a tough time getting its hottest of hatches here, despite a desperate desire to capitalise on our market’s huge demand for cars of this type.
Now on sale in Europe after being hyped since late 2013, the hardcore 231kW/400Nm Honda hero hot hatch has been subject to huge demand and limited production capacity at the UK plant that builds them exclusively.
Honda Australia last month admitted to us that the Type R may not even be available until 2017, and given the new-generation Civic range (the regular, non-Type R models, we mean) will arrive on our shores from mid-2016 (sedan first, hatch shortly after), that would pose problems.
Would Honda Australia sell what would by then be a previous-generation Civic in Type R guise once regular versions of the new-shape model had arrived? It’s understood that Honda Australia would want to offer the Type R for a sustained period.
“We’re still working through the timing,” Honda Australia director Stephen Collins said to us a few weeks ago, though added there was “no question” that such a car was badly needed.
But all this was before the public confirmation that the UK plant will send cars to Japan. Stay posted for an Australian-market update, potentially spurred by the imminent beginning of exports to Japan, once it comes to hand.
Update: Honda Australia director Stephen Collins has told us there's no new developments and that getting the Type R here remains a work in progress.