Honda’s local boss says an affordable, compact sports car to support the Civic Type R would be “very desirable” for the brand.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the Australian launch of the Civic Type R, Stephen Collins, director of Honda Australia, said the company is looking to make its line-up sportier.
“We’ve said it a number of times: we really want to dial up the sportiness of our range and our brand,” he said. “NSX is one part of that, Type R is another. But if anything else becomes available, we’d really be chasing that pretty hard.”
“Type R is a hot hatch and if there’s another type of sports car that becomes available to us, say if it was a convertible or something that could come in at around $30,000 (list price), that would be very desirable for us.”
Although he supports the idea of a compact, affordable sports car to support the Civic Type R, Collins ruled out the S660 (above).
“The S660 is a beautiful little sports car but it was only really designed for Japanese domestic market,” he said. “To get it homologated and up to a standard for the Australian market would be difficult. It’s also very constrained by production and, unfortunately, it’s not made for export.”
“But if a small, sporty car like that became available to Honda Australia we’d definitely stick up our hand for it. Sadly, the S660 is not an option for us.”
Collins did suggest more warmed-over RS versions of existing cars could be on the way, based on the success of the Civic RS (above).
“The Civic RS, for example, isn’t a sports car but it has [a certain level of] sportiness. Where we can, we’re going to try to roll out more RS versions in other model lines,” Collins said. “We think that will contribute to the sporty heritage of our brand.”
The Civic RS is powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, making 126kW of power and 220Nm of torque. In Australia, the RS is offered solely with a continuously-variable transmission (CVT), though an arguably sportier six-speed manual is available in overseas markets like the UK.
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