Honda's hottest hatchback hits the road, with a bewinged prototype snapped in Europe ahead of next year's launch.
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The next-generation 2022 Honda Civic Type R has been spied testing, ahead of its global launch planned for 2022.

Less than 24 hours after the unveiling of the new-generation Civic hatch, our spy photography partners snapped Honda's halo hot hatch testing on European roads – and despite the 11th-generation Civic's move to a more conservative style, it's clear the Type R will lose little of its extroverted appearance.

Heavy, taped-up camouflage covers the front end, though the large central grille opening and brake cooling ducts on each side suggest an aggressive bumper design intended to feed air into a high-output turbocharged petrol engine.

Flared wheel arches feature front and rear, as do large Y-spoke alloy wheels hiding red Brembo brake callipers – though it's worth noting the prototype's increased tyre sidewall versus today's production model suggests the fitment of a smaller alloy wheel, from 20 to 19 inches.

The outgoing Type R's signature (but controversial) fixed rear wing has been retained for another generation – albeit with ever-so-slightly toned-down endplates and wing supports – while the prototype's centre-mounted single exhaust tip hints at the triple-tip production setup likely to be carried over from the current, 10th-generation model.

A peek into the interior reveals the current car's figure-hugging red sports seats will feature again in the new model. Expect it to be joined by a slew of Type R badges, carbon-fibre trim inlays and unique menus for the new Civic's 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster and 9.0-inch infotainment screen.

The jury is still out over what will power the new Civic Type R, though Honda's confirmation its next-generation hot hatch will continue to offer a manual transmission appears to rule out a switch to plug-in hybrid power, as rumoured widely in Japan.

A development of the familiar 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel-drive configuration is highly likely, though it remains to be seen whether outputs will increase over the current car's 228kW and 400Nm (or 235kW elsewhere).

Should Honda opt to go down the electrification route, it could bolt a 48-volt mild-hybrid system to the existing 2.0-litre engine, saving fuel by reducing load on the engine at cruising speed, and allowing for a quicker, more efficient stop-start system.

The prototype's Brembo brakes will likely be complemented by stiffened adaptive suspension and a mechanical limited-slip differential, pitched at track-oriented performance enthusiasts.

The 2022 Honda Civic Type R will launch globally in 2022, the brand has confirmed.

An Australian launch has been locked in, with a Honda Australia spokesperson previously telling CarAdvice: "The 11th-generation Civic will be offered in the hatchback bodystyle preferred by the majority of small car buyers in Australia, including the performance Type R variant."

Click any of the images in this story to view the full gallery.


Below: CarAdvice's interpretation of how the new Honda Civic Type R could look

Below: The outgoing Honda Civic Type R