Even better news! Honda says the new Civic Type R will aim to be ‘the fastest front-wheel drive vehicle on the Nurburgring’. To the best of our knowledge (and ‘Ring records are always a little hazy) that means it’ll have to beat the 8m08s lap set by the Renaultsport Megane RS Trophy last year. That’s a mighty quick lap.
Bad news for a grizzly, autumnal weekend! Firstly, the fourth-gen Civic Type R won’t arrive until 2015. Secondly, we have literally no idea how powerful it might be, or what engine it might use. Honda CEO Takanobu Ito announced yesterday his company’s plans to put a new hot hatch into production, but remained frustratingly schtum on tech details.
So it’d seem likely that Honda, with a ‘Ring record
in its sights, will ditch simple N/A power in favour of a power system that
delivers more horses for less CO2. Honda’s CR-Z coupe – while hardly sporty –
uses a hybrid module to add electric power to its naturally aspirated petrol,
and Honda yesterday announced development of new two- and three-motor hybrid
systems, the latter of which will feature on the upcoming new NSX.
But the Civic Type R is more likely to turn turbo. Ito said it will represent the ‘application of technologies developed through Honda’s participation in WTCC’. This isn’t mere marketing fluff, but CEO-speak for ‘the Civic will use a 1.6-litre turbo engine’, developed from Honda’s take on the FIA’s ‘global engine’ specification.
How much power can Honda squeeze from a dinky 1.6? Well, consider the Megane Trophy makes 265bhp, so you’d expect the Civic to boast rather more if it wants to crush Renault’s record.
However much power (and torque steer) the Civic ends up with, it should represent a welcome return for both Type R – the discerning pirate’s performance brand – and (hopefully) the everyman hot Honda. So go on, TopGearists: how does your perfect Civic Type R look? Scribble your shopping lists below – and if you need to jog your memory, here’s what Richard and Jeremy thought of the last one: