For years, people in various foreign markets have enjoyed the Honda Civic Type R, a hot-hatch version of the uber-popular practical coupe and sedan. The Type R is a predator clothed as a house pet, and the new version Honda is planning isn’t likely to head the U.S.
Regulations be darned as new Civic Type R in the works
Perhaps the most popular type of performance car is the hot hatch, or the “hot hatchback.” Hot hatches offer the best of all worlds; more powerful than a normal car and stocked with upgraded brakes and suspension, so that driving is engaging and loads of fun. There is usually a back seat that people can actually sit in and most are reliable enough to drive every day.
An extremely popular example is the Honda Civic Type R, a tarted-up version of the Civic which has been around since the late 1990s, but never sold in the United States. The last version, according to Top Gear, was discontinued in 2010 when the car failed the new European admissions standards test. However, according to AutoBlog, a new one has just been approved.
New model slated for Paris Motor Show
The last model had a 197-horsepower, naturally-aspirated VTEC engine. High-revving non-turbocharged engines tend to emit more particulate matter from the exhaust, which also led to the Mazda RX-8 failing the same emissions tests and to the end of the rotary engine at Mazda, at least for now.
The new Civic Type R is slated for debut at the Paris Motor Show in September, according to AutoCar. The motor is rumored to be a turbocharged four-cylinder, the engine configuration which is in vogue these days. AutoBlog reports that a 210 horsepower, 2.0-liter engine is said to be in the works for the car, which will be tuned by Mugen, the racing and tuning company that works with Honda but isn’t owned by them, similar to Shelby’s relationship to Ford and Alpina’s relationship to BMW.
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However, the new Type R is not likely to be sold in the U.S., as the Type R is built entirely using the Civic hatchback, rather than the sedan, which isn’t sold here.
Fanboys lament a non-loss
Some people have complained over the years about the Type R not being sold in the United States. A few fan boys are likely to do the same once the new one arrives. It would seem a shame as a sporty Civic would conceivably be a hit. However, a sportier Civic is already sold in the U.S. It’s called the Civic Si and, according to Edmunds, Honda has been selling it in the United States for more than a decade already.
The Civic Si is more powerful than the Type R as, according to Honda, it produces 201 horsepower. The Si is about 100 pounds heavier, though, tipping the scales at 2,895 pounds without optional navigation equipment. The Type R, according to AutoGuide, comes in just under 2,800. The Si does have a larger engine, employing a 2.4-liter engine instead of a 2.0-liter, but aside from that the largest difference is that the Si has a trunk instead of a hatch-back and a more discreet body kit.