Honda Speeds Towards Its Dreams With New Civic Type R Concept
11 March 2014 - Autoblog
A war is coming. It's been brewing for some time between the top-performing hot hatches, and will be determined by the ultimate bragging rights: the lap record at the Nürburgring for front-drive cars.
Renault claimed it and reclaimed it again with successive versions of the Megane RS, then Seat took it by some margin with the new Leon Cupra. But this could take it from both.
It's the new Honda Civic Type R – or at least a conceptual preview of the one to follow. We drove an early prototype of the forthcoming Japanese hot hatch while in town for the Tokyo Motor Show a few months ago, where Honda made no secret of its Eiffel-bound aspirations. Now it has taken a big step closer with the concept you see here.
Previewing the extreme styling that will set the next Type R apart from ordinary Civics (or the European-spec hatchback on which it's based), the concept has a giant rear spoiler, enlarged grilles, hood vents and widened fenders packing both 20-inch alloys and additional air vents.
Underneath it all is the largest iteration of Honda's new turbocharged, direct-injection engine family: a 2.0-liter turbo four churning out 280 metric horsepower – 276 hp by our standards. Precisely the same output as the more powerful version of the Leon Cupra that recently set that all-important lap record, and a good 15 horses more than the Renaultsport Megane 265 Trophy that held it before. Consider the gauntlet thrown down.