Get it while (if) you can – is the Fk8 Honda Civic Type R the new 911 GT3?
Swindon’s closure has meant the Honda Civic Type R has become hot property with pre-reg cars hitting £10k over asking
There have been plenty of parallels drawn between the FK8 Honda Civic Type R and a 911 GT3 before, relating to the way it drives and its level of driver engagement, but who would have thought the same would be said of getting hold of one? Honda’s decision to end UK manufacturing in Swindon has also effectively halted Civic Type R production for the EU market, causing frustration for dealers who have customers lining up at the door, therefore pushing up the prices of the few models in stock within the dealer network.
Certain models, especially later facelift cars, are currently being sold with substantial premiums over their as-new price, with Sport Lines currently sitting at around £5000 - £7000 above list, and GTs at up to a staggering £10,000 more. Unsurprisingly, the Limited Edition is also fetching some high prices on the used market, with one recently selling for a shade under £50,000 at auction here in the UK, and other examples in Australia and Hong Kong going for as much as £80,000.
This has also had a dramatic effect on the second hand market, with early examples from 2017 onwards having barely lost any value from new, still regularly floating in and around £30,000, only a few thousand less than retail.
The official line from Honda is that the model is still in production, but the Swindon plant’s planned shutdown was the only source for the Type R for European customers, and with the imminent launch of a new-generation Euro-spec Civic only months away, there’s little reason to source more stock from other plants.
This is a similar, albeit slightly deferred, story to the Toyota GR Yaris, another reasonably priced performance car that has become hot property on account of its difficulty to get hold of. While not ideal for those keen to get behind the wheel, it does somewhat substantiate the notion that if manufacturers build brilliant affordable performance cars, people will buy them, throwing into question the cynicism that many (mostly European) manufacturers currently feel about these types of performance cars.
The good news is that Honda is committed to bringing the next generation Honda Civic Type R to European markets, but the decision of where it’ll be built is still undecided. This factor will then have a follow-on effect of establishing how long we’ll have to wait to see the new model in the UK, but whatever the result, the new car’s similarities to the FK8 will hopefully make it just as brilliant as the current model.
So the gauntlet is set for all the other manufacturers. The Volkswagen Group has all the right components to make something of the current Golf GTI closer to that of the Mk7 GTI Clubsport S, Cupra’s Abt connection and penchant for high spec components could once again culminate into a new model built in the image of the previous Cupra R, or what about a final flourish for the Megane RS with a new Trophy-R? Despite its divisive looks, the Honda Civic Type R has proven the point that if you build it and it’s great, people will come.