Honda WILL make a new Civic Type R

Honda CEO Takanobu Ito has confirmed a new Civic Type R is on the way – and he wants it to become ‘the fastest front-wheel drive car around the Nurburgring’. 

The firm appears set to achieve this by replacing the old 2.0-litre VTEC, finally killed by emissions regulations, with a brand new 1.6-litre turbo motor. This is the engine Honda’s developing for its new WTCC World Touring Car entry, which is to race for the first time next month at Suzuka.

WTCC is the driving force
WTCC is the driving force
In racing spec, the engine is expected to produce around 310hp and rev to 8500rpm. If Honda wants it to be fast on the road too, it won’t be dialling this back too much – making this potentially the highest-output 1.6-litre turbo on sale?

Of course, Honda hasn’t confirmed anything more than that the Civic Type R will use ‘technologies developed through Honda’s participation in the WTCC’. But why else would it go to the vast expense of developing an all-new 1.6-litre turbo just for motorsport? Downsizing is currently all the rage, too…

The car will be built in the UK at Honda’s Swindon plant, and is likely to be a key product of Honda’s decision to give Swindon’s engineering team more of a leading role in developing European-focused cars. As such, expect a model better suited to British roads.

It does, of course, appear to mean the end of the high-revving normally-aspirated VTEC, at least for now. You sense Honda would have preferred to stick with VTEC, but regulations have forced its hand, hence the move into WTCC racing. What better platform to develop an engine that’s true to your roots than in motorsport?

The engine as an objet d'art
The engine as an objet d'art
The only pity is the wait we have in store: Honda says it won’t be here before 2015, which is a jolly long time to wait for a hot version of a model that’s already on sale. It had better be good: such an extended development time suggests it will be.

In other Honda news, the firm has revealed plans to develop a Nissan Juke-rivalling compact SUV, a new fuel cell vehicle that (unlike the FCX Clarity) will come to Europe, and a trio of new hybrids. The one-motor hybrid aims to be the world’s most fuel-efficient hybrid of all, while the two-motor system will be used for mid-size vehicles.

There will also be a clever ‘super handling all-wheel drive’ three-motor hybrid system that the new NSX will use. Alongside this new supercar will be a new super sports bike, to take on the mighty BMW S1000RR.

These product developments are part of Honda’s highly ambitious growth plans. It wants to boost global customers from 23.9 million to 39 million – a 60 per cent rise. And if Honda deems a new class-dominating Civic Type R a key part of this plan, that’s fine by us.

Comments (132) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Grovsie26 29 Sep 2012

    Reliabilty? This hasn't got anything to do with the fact there are probably 10 K20 lumps out there for every B18? The K20 is bullet proof if looked after properly with oil.

    Throttle response i did not ignore, looks like you did though, 2 different cars, and im sure the DC2 has a lighter flywheel for a start.

    Character? Again that just bks IMO. Noise is completey subjective. The CTR has a more restrictive exhaust, and more sound deadening.

    Edited by Grovsie26 on Saturday 29th September 19:40

  • havoc 27 Sep 2012

    Erm, character*, throttle-response and reliability...which I've now said 3x and you keep ignoring in favour of "mid-range" and "ease of modding". banghead

    On paper the K20A is superior, yes. But on paper the BMW N53 3.0 petrol engine (the direct-injection one) is superior to the N52 (normal EFI with valvetronic), yet go onto any BMW forum and listen to N53 owners gripe about the's not ALL about the stats, as I suspect a large % of PH'ers will tell you.

    But if you prefer the K20A that's'd be boring if we were all the same. Just don't tell me I'm wrong for preferring the B18C6, nor for judging it better under my criteria!

    * Especially sound...and PLEASE don't say you can mod the K20A to sound better, as there are many people who don't WANT to modify their car.

  • Grovsie26 27 Sep 2012

    Yes Havoc of course, iam always singing the praises of VAG engines compared to a Honda engine, doh.

    The engine is good but it's not as good as a K20a. You can't compare throttle response and character in different cars with different flywheels, etc.

    Try a DC5 with a B18c in, or a DC2 with a K20. It's much easier/better to mod, has more more power, more torque, and much more mid range grunt. On what planet is the older engine better?

  • RocketRabbit 25 Sep 2012

    havoc said:
    I have to disagree. The B18C has more character, better throttle-response and a lot better reliability. The (very minor) mid-range gains really aren't worth it, IMHO...
    The K20 is lighter, has a 6 speed box, has chain driven cams, roller valve train, adjustable inlet cam timing, better bore/stroke ratio.

    The only reason you'd get a B18 is because it's easier to fit into an earlier car.

    K20s have 'reliability' issues entirely down to owners letting them run dry of oil or over revving them - DC2 ITRs never had such an idiot userbase as the Breadvans.

    The other good thing about the K20 is that it spins the right way, although so does the F20C which is quite simply the best engine Honda have put in a road car and it was never in a Type-R!

  • davidcharles 25 Sep 2012

    otolith said:
    The GT just had more toys, the base car was not remotely "stripped out".

    I agree, Honda's mistake wasn't the gt spec but the standard type r.

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