The tough new 2018 Honda Civic Type R has been given an unscheduled digital unveiling today, courtesy of these two images surfacing early.

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These shots, published as 'leaked images' on British website Autocar without any mention of a source, these shots offer a first look at the long-anticipated hot hatch.

As expected, the finished Civic Type R is largely identical to the show car that previewed it in Paris, last September. Indeed, it will take a keen eye to tell the two apart.

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Of course, go back far enough - March last year with the first Civic hatch concept or the first muscly concept revealed in April 2015 - and we've had more than a few previews of Honda's new hero hatch.

And, with the regular Civic hatch already boasting racer looks at both ends - looks not all that different to what we're seeing here - it's no surprise the new Type R's styling and aero package is among the wildest in the segment.

Full details on the new 'CTR' will come in the days ahead, at the Geneva motor show, but it is expected that we'll see a version of the 2.0-litre turbo four that powers the current - very short-lived, very unavailable in Australia - Civic Type R.

Honda Civic Type R sets new benchmark time at Monza with Honda

Above: the current Civic Type R will retire soon

Right now, that mill offers 228kW and 400Nm to buyers in markets lucky enough to benefit from Honda's love, but reports suggest the new model's tune will deliver around 250kW and 450Nm. Sent, again - and a little insanely - to the front wheels.

For our extensive coverage of the new Civic Type R, see the links below.