By on June 19, 2017

2017 Civic Type R (European Version)

You’re not likely to find another car sporting over 300 horsepower and a price below $35,000 with the same kind of visual impact as the Honda Civic Type R. Call it over the top, call it arresting, or call it exactly what you’ve been waiting for.

Honda designers and engineers know what buyers they want to reach — as many as possible. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have decided to spice up its every-popular Civic with warm (Si) and hot (Type R) variants. With both models, deciding on power and price meant walking a fine line. Honda wants the Civic to be a big tent model. Nothing too exclusive, thank you very much.

Regular Civics for the masses, a 205 hp offering for the lively commute type, and a 306 hp hatch festooned with go-fast add-ons for the wannabe (or legitimate) racers. Seems like a pretty good range, right? Nope, there’s still white space in need of filling, says the Civic’s head engineer.

Speaking to Automotive News at the recent Type R first drive event, Hideki Matsumoto revealed that the existing Type R, which only just went on sale in the U.S., is a starting point, rather than the model’s end point.

“We’re hoping that by gradually putting out more [variants] that we’ll be able to maintain a more stable sales volume,” said Matsumoto. Yes, the Civic is poised to become even more prolific.

Right now, roughly $10,000 of MSRP separates the Civic Si from its beastly brother — plenty of room in which to slot another model. Rob Keough, the model’s senior product planner, recently suggested that the Si, which was kept fairly tame to preserve the longevity of its 1.5-liter engine, could spawn a slightly warmer variant. Now, Matsumoto is suggesting a similar plan for the Type R.

The engineer claims a more powerful Type R is on the way, which could bow with all-wheel drive — a Ford-and Subaru-fighting feature the Civic currently lacks. In addition, the automaker wants to build a version that’s a little less aggressive, something “focused more on the grand touring aspect,” he said.

It’s more likely Honda would choose to let some steam out of its turbocharged 2.0-liter to fill the Si-Type R gap, rather than try and coax more output from its 1.5-liter mill. Even one variant with long-term dependability issues could give the brand a stigma.

[Image: Honda]

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29 Comments on “Honda Plans to Make the Civic Type R Wilder… and Milder...”


  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    SiR?

  • avatar
    slavuta

    They better change the dash to normal speedo-tacho+radio buttons. And please, give me the hand brake. Can I also have all that and 16″ wheels?

  • avatar
    wintermutt

    AWD? awesome. might be interested then.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Frack me that’s awful looking.

  • avatar
    MatadorX

    $35K on what planet…??

    California Honda stealerships won’t dip below $10k ADM for at least 3 years, if ever.

    It took the FIT a solid decade to be widely available here for sticker. No joke 10 years. 6k ADM for the entire 1st gen run, then down to 2k on later editions.

    Honda dealers seem to like the trick where they stock 20 new cars and 150+/- CPO ones for more than sticker on new. That way they can claim limited availability on new stuff AND make a killing forcing $7k margin used down people’s throats.

    And this car, that unlike the FIT, is going to be in demand NATIONWIDE, yeah good luck. I am hearing they are demanding $50-60k for them here right now.

    So glad there are companies like Toyota around, making reliable cars where outside of the South, you can go and get sticker or below on virtually anything you want. But at least down there, Honda dealers stock hundreds of units, and routinely sell below sticker. At least according to my Honda loving Texas relatives.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      California is not America. This is why you have this issue there

    • 0 avatar
      markf

      No one, not even the stealerships forces anyone to buy this or any other car. Market forces at work, dealer add their ridiculous “admin” fees, folks are free to tell them to “F” off. No one needs a Type R, you may need a car but no one needs a particular model.

      I can relate, back in 2008, after almost 20 years Kawasaki finally updated their KLR650. I was in the market for a new bike and as a previous KLR 650 owner and fan, went to check it out. I was promptly informed by the dealer that the $5500 MSRP KLR 650 would cost me $6800 to buy. I walked back out and have purchased 4 bikes since then, none of them Kawais……

    • 0 avatar
      NotFast

      With that kind of markup, I’d be driving directly to the local Subaru or VW dealers to check out their version of the hot hatch. Unless they’re carrying a huge markup, they are a much better value (and better car) than the R.

  • avatar
    carguy

    A couple of things may improve future variations to appeal to a wider demographic:

    1. Un-pimp zee auto
    While the core demographic loves the over-the-top styling, it may be worth having a toned down version with 18″ wheels, no wing and way less bulges and scoops.

    2. AWD
    Given that the off-the-line performance of the current Type R is no better than a standard GTI or Focus ST, it is probably safe to assume that it is traction limited. Making SH-AWD an option would most likely help that.

    3. Transmission choices
    While I love Honda manuals, there are some buyers that simply don’t want to row their own. Honda has a 10-speed auto box – they should use it.

    For those who decry this as “diluting” the badge think of the economics: The more of these they sell the more likely it is that we will have future Type Rs.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      1. I would say, give me whatever power but keep the 16″-chers so I don’t have to spend $1000 every change.

      4. (1 for you – un-pimp the dash) Current dash is like 1980 computer game. Give me analog gauges

    • 0 avatar
      quasimondo

      I want the old Type R back.

      FWD

      Naturally Aspirated

      Stratospheric redline

      I’m no fan of turbocharged Hondas (this includes the aftermarket ones), and I’m even less of a fan of this thing that looks ready for product placement in the next installment of Michael Bay’s Transformers.

  • avatar
    KevinC

    How about a model designed for people who aren’t blind, with a completely redesigned exterior that has none of the visual assault of this model?

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    Hmmm, would I rather do an extended road trip with the cruise set at 15 over in my white Corolla sedan, or this thing . . . . .

  • avatar
    V16

    The first change should include putting this design in the crusher, and starting over.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    Maybe they’ll raise it up 7 inches, add even MORE cladding, and…get sued by BMW.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Grrrrr!!

    If Honda in all seriousness burdened the entire FWD Civic range with underpinnings required for AWD, just on account of one nonexistent hardly-relevance, I’m threatening to reanimate Soichiro, so his zombie self can personally beat the living heck out of whoever was responsible for that travesty…

    And if they didn’t, and this Civic type-I-for-Imagine is on it’s own platform, get a grip and call it a Prelude. That’s what fast, techy, low volume, higher priced Hondas are supposed to be named.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      The platform supports AWD because like all modern platforms it will be used to make a bunch of CUVs in addition to the sedans and coupes.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Good point. Thanks!

        But if the latest Civic platform not only has to drag around AWD possibility, but everything else required to make a CR-V tick as well, that just makes it an even bigger travesty. There’s got to be enough flexibility in the so called “same” platform, for FWD compacts to be built without all the extra weight and driveline-reserved space. Otherwise, the resulting compact car would be suboptimal enough, that a more focused competitor could fly under even mighty Honda.

  • avatar
    tnk479

    The 2018 Golf R should arrive this Fall and that’s the sport compact to buy if you have the means. I would guess the Civic Type R is fun to drive on back roads but the acceleration numbers aren’t very impressive. I’d be far more willing to put up with it’s brash 90’s tuner scene looks if it had SH-AWD and thus offered some legitimate performance.

  • avatar
    Nedmundo

    This is great news, both the “wilder” AWD version and the possibility of a “milder” version to slot between the Si and current Type-R. I could definitely go “wilder” than the new Civic Si, which I tested last week, but the Type-R is too extroverted and probably too extreme for the rough roads here in downtown Philly. (I’ll test it though, and I could probably live with its aesthetics in the metallic gray.)

    So the “milder” Type-R seems appealing, but I wonder whether it will actually be the next Acura ILX, in which case it probably won’t be available with MT. Boo.


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