France, Paris – Honda Motor Company Ltd. (NASDAQ; HMC) revealed the next-generation Civic Type R Prototype at the Paris Motor Show 2016. For the first time, the model will make its way to the US market, and the prototype will debut at SEMA 2016 in Las Vegas next November.
Honda built the new Type R based on the five-door Civic Hatchback. The company says the vehicle will pack a broad range of aerodynamic hardware and visual features not present on regular Hondas. The prototype is “as close as possible” to the final product.
Honda says they will build the Type R alongside regular Civic at its Swindon factory in the U.K. The car will reach the global market with a slight increase in the current Type R’s £30,000 standard price.
Civic Type R release date
Type R launched last year and competed with the Audi RS3 Sportback, VW Golf R, Ford Focus RS, and the Mercedes-AMG A45. The model sports 350 horsepower in a front-wheel drive only chassis.
Type R accounts for less than 4 percent of Honda’s total sales, as the company limits the production to 1,000 a year to reach the collectible niche. It will be the same for the new version.
The car will debut at the 2017 Geneva motor show next March. Honda is currently building the car to set a new benchmark for front-wheel drive performance vehicles.
Specs and rumors
The core of the Civic Type R is what lies beneath the hood. Honda’s official press release was short on details about the powertrain, but according to Autocar media, Honda aims to pack at least 350 horsepower out of its four-cylinder turbocharged engine.
Honda will rely on the new model to improve grip and handling stability of front-wheel drive cars, so the company included a new aerodynamic package with two rear spoilers and a front splitter.
Reports suggest the automaker wants to achieve a new Nürburgring lap record. The car would have to go faster than the 4WD Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S, and also top their upcoming rival, the 2018 Renault Mégane RS.
Design and features
Honda showcased a vehicle with 20-inch black-and-red wheels, a rear wing above a trio of exhaust pipes, a carbon-fiber splitter in the hood, a red accent line stretching around the Civics’ bottom line, and brushed-aluminum body that won’t make it to the final product.
Chief designer Daisuke Tsutamori said the new aero package added more downforce to the Civic. Design features gave the car an airflow into the engine bay split between three vents: a conventional lower vent, a top slot grille, and a small central grille.
On the exterior, the vehicle sports smoked LED headlights on the front and the back. It also boasts carbon fiber skirts that give the car a more aggressive look.