A subtler 2022 Honda Civic is coming, but the Type R looks set to stay wild.
The next Civic hasn’t gone official just yet, but after patent renderings revealed most of the key visual details, there’s little left to ponder for the mainstream range.
The 2022 Civic Type R, on the other hand, remains shrouded in mystery – or, at least, prototype camouflage.
Overseas outlets have spied what appears to be the new Type R undergoing testing, and between the spy pics and patent images, we couldn't help but wonder what Honda has in store for the next 'CTR'.
Alongside the current tenth-generation Civic, the new model appears to evolve some of the styling themes already seen, dialling back some of the wide-open vents front and rear just a little. A flatter roof line and less angular lights create a more sophisticated base car.
That’s just the ticket for the regular Civic’s more conservative buyer base, but a Civic Type R really needs to turn the visuals up – and then up some more.
In the same way the basic body takes its cues from the current car, the new Type R dips into the current model’s playbook.
Upsized intakes will be a fixture, as they really should be for the hot hatch flagship, although this time they have been toned down ever so slightly.
Prominent, yes, but obnoxious… well, let’s just say they're flatter, less angular, and dare we say it, more sophisticated this time around.
Because the next Type R will, much like the current model, elevate the small hatchback’s handling far beyond the more pedestrian models, with front and rear track width pumped out accordingly.
Unlike a Renault Megane RS and its bespoke bodywork front and rear, Honda tends to split the difference. That means new wider guards up front and extended finishers on the rear wheel wells, as is currently the case.
Engineering evaluation vehicles spied so far have tell-tale Type R traits too. There’s a subtle vented bonnet and a rear wing that is anything but subtle, towering over the rear guards and framing the driver’s rear-view of cars falling into the background.
Beneath that, prototype vehicles seen so far provide a less obvious clue as to what we’ll get, with an incomplete rear bumper and makeshift single exhaust outlet. That’s unlikely to be the case come production, so a diffuser-style lower bumper and quad pipes fill that gap for now.
The only unanswered question is what’s going on under the bonnet, and for now the crystal ball has little to show.
The current Civic Type R’s turbocharged 2.0-litre is probably a safe bet to continue, but the 228kW and 400Nm outputs are expected to get at least a minor boost, provided the latest round of emissions compliance measures doesn’t knock the wind from its sails.
There’s also a chance Honda could team the petrol powerhouse with some form of electric assistance. Overseas reports vary from suggestions of mild hybrid assistance, up to an electric rear axle, which would transform the CTR from its traditional front-wheel drive into a near 300kW torque vectoring all-wheel-drive hyper hatch.
By necessity, that could also see the manual-only Type R make the switch to an automatic transmission, with the US Accord’s 10-speed auto waiting in the wings.
Nothing is certain just yet though, with cost and weight the potential limiting factors. Honda is no stranger to performance hybrids however, with the NSX potentially showing the way for the future of the Civic Type R.