Is there space for something to sit above the 2018 Honda Civic Type R? Perhaps an all-wheel-drive hot-hatch with more power and torque than the current front-drive flagship?
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You bet.

Just look at Volkswagen’s strategy with its two Golf models, the GTI and the R, or Ford with its Focus pairing, the ST and the RS.

But is it plausible? Well, it appears to be a question on the mind of Yuji Matsumochi, assistant large project leader for the 10


-generation Civic powertrain at Honda Japan.

Matsumochi indicated that the Type R is, and likely always will be, a front-drive vehicle – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there couldn’t be something else alongside it.

“So, lightweight and sporty, this is Type R. This is our policy,” he said.

“The big point is that Civic Type R is a front-wheel-drive strategy, this is the heritage, the culture and strategy we have for front-wheel-drive vehicles,” Matsumochi said. “Because we have a lot of experience with front-wheel drive – it’s very lightweight, very good handling, good fuel consumption.”

An all-wheel-drive hatch? That’d be a different type of car, with a different intent.

“Adding the all-wheel-drive means more weight or assistance or something. The important thing to us is the power-to-weight ratio. So, however, big power, more weight.

“My opinion is that, of course, every strategy, every year by year, we make a program. However, at this situation we don’t have a more muscled vehicle than this Type R,” he said, suggesting that the current outputs of 235kW (for most markets; 228kW for Australia) and 400Nm won’t change.

But, as Matsumochi put it, a car that is “not a Type R” could see more power, not to mention more weight but also more traction.

“Not a Type R is a possibility for the big power [with all-wheel-drive], this is a possibility for the future. But not for a Type R.

“We have many, many types of powertrains, so Honda can make many types of powertrain: petrol, diesel, turbocharged, hybrid, electric vehicles, fuel-cell. So, we can make possible many platforms for powertrains in the current models, or future models.”

How long into the future? Well, that’s a question we couldn’t get an answer to.

Tell us what you think

Would a higher-powered Honda hatch make sense?