With the automotive world about to descend on the 2014 Mondial de l'Automobile, Honda has released exciting new details about its eagerly anticipated Civic Type R.
The all-new hot hatch – due in European showrooms next year – will be the most extreme Type R yet, signalling the start of a new performance era for the brand.
Power will come from a 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine from Honda's Earth Dreams Technology series. Developing over 280 PS, it will deliver unmatched performance compared to any previous Type R car. That includes all generations of the Civic, plus the iconic performance-oriented versions of the Integra, Accord and even the NSX.
While complying with strict Euro 6 emissions regulations, this is a Honda Type R powerplant like no other. While its predecessors were naturally aspirated, the new unit benefits from a turbocharger, boosting low-end power delivery. Combined with the high-end performance that's synonymous with Honda's VTEC technology – and much-loved by enthusiastic Type R owners – they will deliver a sensational driving experience.
Suehiro Hasshi, Large Project Leader for the Civic Type R at Honda R&D, commented: "Honda has had four Type R model derivatives – the Civic, Integra, Accord and NSX. The engine in this new Honda Civic Type R is unrivalled against all of them in terms of raw power, torque and engine response."
Hasshi-san emphasised the car's appeal will be far greater than a new high-performance engine under the bonnet. A number of engineering innovations and enhancements will make the new Civic Type R a true driver's car, worthy of wearing the famous red ‘H' badge.
For example, the Civic Type R will mark the debut of Honda's new ‘+R' button. Located to the side of the steering wheel, once pressed it activates ‘+R‘ mode for the most exhilarating driving experience. The engine response is heightened, with torque-mapping changed to a more aggressive and performance-focused setting. Steering becomes more responsive and, together with the new four-point Adaptive Damper System, delivers the ultimate handling experience.
Hasshi explained: "In default standard mode, the Civic Type R is exceptionally agile, an everyday sports car with an enjoyable and fluid acceleration. The ‘+R' button brings out a more dynamic and athletic car for the driver, to set pulses racing. The difference in character is immense. The ‘+R' mode is extreme; the car is ideal for track use and will be appreciated by the genuine sports-driving enthusiast."
Another example of Honda's innovative approach is the car's ‘steer axis'. In order to deliver the power of the turbocharged 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine, the new Civic Type R's front suspension system includes this additional mechanical system involving two supporting ‘kingpins'. They minimise torque steer and allows the driver to fully exploit the car's exceptional driveability.
Furthermore, a new four-point Adaptive Damper System has been developed specifically for the Civic Type R. It automatically adjusts the front and rear suspension damping force stiffness in a split second, based on driving conditions. This allows the new Civic Type R to provide a comfortable ride during cruising, yet become firm and agile when high-performance handling is required.
The new Civic Type R will follow in the footsteps of its predecessors with a six-speed manual transmission. The development team selected this option to maximise driving enjoyment.
Hasshi explained: "The manual transmission allows the drivers to select the gear they want, for example, down from fifth to third when approaching a corner. The concept of the new Civic Type R is to be the complete driver's car so this was the best option."
The all-new Civic Type R has been developed and engineered for European driving tastes. To be built at Honda's state-of-the-art plant in Swindon, UK, it will arrive in dealerships during 2015.
To see the latest Honda Civic Type R Concept car, go to the Honda Stand in Hall 3, at the 2014 Mondial de l'Automobile. Honda's press conference takes place on this stand at 16.45 CET on Thursday 2 October.