Honda has rolled out a wild hatchback-on-steroids prototype for the new-generation Civic Type R.
Hot hatchback fans who’ve lusted for the Type R sold elsewhere finally are getting satisfaction: The prototype had its U.S. debut at the 2016 SEMA aftermarket auto parts trade show in Las Vegas this past week and it goes on sale in the U.S. sometime next year, Honda says, along with a new Civic Si.
In Honda tradition, the “prototype” looks nearly production-ready, save for the show car’s novel brushed-aluminum-effect wrap. Based on the new-generation 2017 Civic Hatchback — also newly being offered in the U.S. — the Type R prototype adds a hyper-aggressive face with a winged carbon-fiber splitter and additional ducts. Adding to the effect are carbon-fiber side sills and carbon-fiber trim in the rear, topped by a dramatic wing that should satisfy owners who want to claim theirs is bigger than yours. Bulked-out fenders cover fat 245-section performance tires on 20-inch black-alloy wheels. Red accents abound, including a red background for the big Honda “H” badges.
Among the novel features is a triple exhaust at the center of the carbon-fiber rear diffuser. Two larger outlets flank a smaller center pipe trimmed in red. Honda says the triple pipes are “fully functional” but the automaker is mum on the purpose of the third outlet.
Honda also offered no details on what will lurk under the Type R’s hood scoop. The last-generation R’s 2-liter turbocharged engine, mated only to a six-speed manual transmission, puts out about 306 horsepower. According to Auto Express in the U.K., the new model could get a boost to about 340 horsepower and likely will remain manual-only and front-wheel drive.
The Type R will provide new competition in this country for compact rockets including the Ford Focus RS, Subaru WRX STI and Volkswagen Golf R.