Honda Australia has expressed its desire to add the Civic Type R hot hatch to its showrooms since the hype around the car started in late 2013, and up until now has been holding out hope that it could launch the current car in 2016.
But Honda Australia director Stephen Collins this week confirmed the current Type R won’t be offered locally, given that the new-generation Civic sedan and hatch are set to arrive around the middle and the end of 2016 respectively.
“It will be the next generation, because the new-generation Civic sedan will be on sale midway through next year – we’re trying to get it for June, the biggest selling month of the year – so given that situation, selling new and old it just doesn’t work,” Collins said.
Though production of the current-generation Honda Civic Type R hatchback only commenced earlier this year, the car is expected to have a relatively short life cycle. CarAdvice’s spy photographers have already captured images of the next-gen Civic Type R wearing what appear to be production body panels, suggesting the new version could be ready within 12-18 months.
The new-generation Civic hatch retains its familiar wedge-shaped silhouette while incorporating elements from its sedan sibling. Unlike recent iterations of Honda’s compact nameplate, the Civic sedan and hatch will be built side by side and share major components and possess a cohesive design, rather than being two very different cars.
Given the hardware for the Type R is still effectively brand new, the engine and other mechanical bits are expected to carry over to the new performance model largely unchanged, though Honda could look to give the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder a tune-up from the current outputs of 231kW/400Nm.
While launch timing is still to be confirmed, Collins said “it won’t be that far away”, and is optimistic about a 2017 Australian release.
“If you were to speculate 2017 you’d be close,” he said. “I’m not sure if it will be early or late, but it will be around that sort of timing.
“We’re just desperate to get it as soon as possible. I know a lot of people are anxious for it, as I am.”