The current Honda Civic Type R has won many fans over its tempestuous lifespan in the UK, which despite being one of the truly great modern hot hatchbacks has always been at the mercy of its somewhat dubious aesthetics. Well, that could soon be a thing of the past as Honda in the US has revealed the all-new Civic flaunting a far more civilised and dare we say sophisticated look that will underpin the next generation Type R.
The model revealed is an American-market saloon, but the European-spec hatchback will not vary greatly from it, save for a marginally shorter rear deck. The Civic’s design is otherwise accurate to what we’ll be seeing in full production trim next year.
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One of the most obvious changes is to the body itself, which despite sharing similar proportions to the current model has a far more restrained look that features a single, strong crease and subtly bulging wheelarches. This is a far cry from the sharp incongruous lines that pockmark the current Civic.
The front and rear design is less fussy too, and while the sharp headlight and grille combination of the current model has given way to a meeker face, the next Type R will be given a more distinctive look compared to the standard model to compensate. Judging by the early prototypes spotted on the road earlier this year the next Type R will, like the current model, have wider arches front and rear, a vented bonnet and that stacked rear wing, so it won’t exactly be Golf R-levels subtle.
As with the current generation Civic, the Type R isn’t just developed alongside lesser models, but actually goes some way to informing the proportions and structure of it too. This is much of the reason why so much about the current Type R feels so right, as its un-hatchback-like proportions provide a foundation for its superb driving dynamics. Speaking of the interior, it has also been revealed, this time in the form of a design sketch, revealing a similarly restrained aesthetic.
Given its shared underpinnings with the current Type R, we suspect the new model will hold on to its superb powertrain, which in its current form is a 316bhp 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder. The world-class six-speed manual transmission, limited-slip differential and Brembo braking package should also remain as part of the package.
We expect the new Civic to arrive sometime in the next 12-18 months, but is not likely to be built in the UK like the current model, due to the Swindon plant’s 2021 scheduled closing. Still, with so much emphasis on electrification, and the threats to hot hatchbacks like this in European markets, the new Civic Type R remains a beacon of light for the future of the hot hatchback, one now with a less controversial, more palatable design.