Combining the utility of a pick-up with the sportiness of a performance car, the Ute is a brilliant piece of Australian ingenuity. However, outside the Land Down Under, these vehicles are fairly rare and, clearly, the world needs more of them.
Step forward Honda. The brand’s UK engineers have been hard at work creating this, a Civic Type R Pick Up Truck concept.
Yes, you read that right. One of the fastest hot hatches around and the record holder for FWD cars around the ‘Ring is now a pick-up.
“Project P”, as it’s known internally, started with 12 engineers at the Honda facility in Swindon, UK. They took a pre-production version of the Type R and got cutting. After removing all of the roof from the B-pillars back, they fabricated a bed from diamond plate and grafted it onto the car. Honda does have some form when it comes to sawing the roof off cars, but this time it’s real, we promise.
A large part of the Civic’s visual impact is the giant spoiler. In order to keep this, Honda had to get creative with the trunk, so the Type R pick-up is the only one of its type we know of that has a liftback tailgate. While not exactly the pinnacle of practicality, we’ll give it a pass because it’s cool — even if it’d make tailgating a bit difficult.
Given the added cargo space, one might wonder what the payload capacity is. Since the suspension is still the same, it’s propbably not much. However, Honda did demonstrate its usefulness by showing that it could haul around two lawnmowers. Honda has also added a light bar, just to drive home the pick-up credentials. Watch out Ford, the F-150 is on notice!
Like the suspension, the rest of the car remains unchanged. This isn’t a bad thing though since the 2.0-liter turbo engine is fantastic. With 315hp on tap, it rockets to 60mph in just under six seconds.
According to Honda, this performance makes the Type R Pick Up the fastest FWD truck around. Although, when we think about it there’s really not much to compare it to. To further reinforce the performance message, Honda is also considering taking it back to the Ring. The goal is to be the fastest pickup to lap the Green Hell.
While it could probably set any time and claim the record, chances are it’ll be quick. When the hatchback Type R took to the ring in April 2017, it ran 7:43.8 – quicker than a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. If the concept does head to Germany for a record attempt, we will let you know. Hopefully Honda will keep the lawnmowers in the bed for the run.
In the meantime, if you were hoping to buy one of these, you’re out of luck. Although if you really want one, we recommend giving the folks at Smyth Performance a call. They have a history of turning hatchbacks into pick-ups.