Honda’s refreshed Civic Type-R Concept boasts turbo engine, go-faster button

Undoubtedly, Honda has been making some yawn-inducing cars recently, being largely overshadowed by its Japanese rival, Nissan. But finally, the company has tickled its fans’ famished taste-buds, unveiling refreshed concept designs of its latest hot hatch iteration — the Civic Type-R.

Like a life-sized Micro Machine, the Type-R is the craziest thing to come out of Tokyo in a very long time. Featuring quad-exhaust outlets at the rear, a fearsome looking diffuser, and a massive rear wing forcing its backside into the tarmac, it looks like a racer. And that’s largely its purpose.

The previous “Type-R” Civic was timid, uninspiring and boring. This is anything but.

The tiny car’s engine bay will house Honda’s latest VTEC 2.0-litre engine, turbocharged for effect, pushing out around 280-horsepower and probably completing the 0-100hm/h sprint comfortably in under seven seconds.

Drive will be delivered to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual gearbox, which does insight some fear in sensible buyers, but should be an absolute hoot to drive. But at least Honda is wary of torque steer too, adding a “steer axis” system to ensure the Honda’s steering is not affected by it’s near-300 horses.

Honda Civic Type R concept 2014 side

And behold the “+R” button on the steering wheel, which increases suspension tautness when depressed and modifies engine mapping, improving handling.

Undoubtedly, Honda will likely join the now requisite hot hatch Green Hell club, by attempting to lap the Nordschliefe faster than its Renault, Seat and Nissan rivals.

Although its still marked as a concept by its parents, the Civic Type-R isn’t too different in general aesthetics from the previous model, so not much needs to be changed in its production guise — not including the paint-job or tail. But the world will get its first physical sighting of the car at this week’s Paris Motor Show. Hopefully it will be available just on the other side of the new year.

Andy Walker
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