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Well, we didn’t see that one coming. Honda has told that in next year’s BTCC season, it intends to field a racing version of its new Civic Tourer. That’s an estate. Going racing.

A Honda spokesperson confirmed that yes, while everybody in the company is getting all gooey and excited over the upcoming Type-R hatch, it’s actually preparing its new Tourer as a full racing version for next year’s BTCC contender.

“We’ve developed the Tourer into a full race car,” Honda told us, “because we - and the engineers at Team Dynamics - believe it will be very competitive. It’s going to be a real contender, we’re not just doing this for PR value.”

BTCC drivers Gordon Sheddon and Matt Neal - who you’ll remember were last seen on a TG screen smashing into each other in the name of helping Hammond find the world’s best taxi - have only had a couple of preliminary tests in the new Tourer BTCC car, but their initial reaction is “it’ll be every bit as good as the Civic hatch”.

Full testing will begin ‘in earnest’ next month and through to January next year, and it’ll come sporting the new NGTC Touring Car engine: a 2.0-litre petrol engine producing around 300bhp.

You’re probably asking why Honda plumped for an estate car over the hatch? “It’s a new car for us, and we think it will ring in the changes over the hatchback Civic,” Honda said. “Plus, why not do something different? We think the challenge is a good one, and we think it will turn heads at the end of the day. Racing’s about winning, obviously, but it’s also about attracting people to the sport.”

Honda’s also quite confident that this new BTCC Tourer will be quite handy. “We’ve been in the hunt for the last five or six years with Team Dynamics, and next year we’re confident of success,” Honda reckons.

Ah yes, Team Dynamics. Sound familiar? TD, don’t forget, are the masterminds behind Stig’s bonkers little 130mph mower. If this Tourer is even a tenth as fantastic as that, next year’s season could be a classic. Volvo did it with the 850 way back in the 90s, anyway. 

Racing liveried estates for the win?

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