Honda’s new Civic Type R isn’t even on sale yet, but the company is already talking up what comes next.
So what does Honda have planned? Well, Hideki Matsumoto, chief engineer of the Civic program, told Automotive News that the goal was to have more versions. More versions, he reasons, will result in a more stable volume of sales over the car’s life.
What’s in the pipeline then? Nobody really knows, although Matsumoto hinted at even more power.
That’s not necessarily the traditional Honda way though. We could be looking at a lighter and more focused car in the works, like the original Honda Integra Type R. Some of the Civic’s great rivals include more track-biased machinery, such as the two seat Golf Clubsport S. Older versions of the Megane RS included an integrated half-cage and plastic windows. The Civic Type R is no bloater, but there’s weight savings to be had.
A cheaper model is also on the drawing board. After all, there’s a huge gulf between the 316 hp Civic Type R and the 205 hp Civic Si (it’s even wider in Europe), where a detuned and cheaper Civic could sit. Perhaps a 250hp SiR model to make fans of the EG Civic giddy?
However, should Matsumoto’s power prediction come true, there’ll be inevitable glances at the back wheels. Honda is now the only brand to persist with 300+ hp through the front wheels, while others go for all four. Ford’s Focus RS and Volkswagen’s Golf R now both use four-wheel drive and Honda will surely have to follow suit eventually, just as it did with turbocharging.
Whatever the result, it looks like Honda’s longest-lived Type R model is here to stay a while yet.