By on January 6, 2017

New Civic Type R Prototype breaks cover in Paris

It was all very exciting. The world of continuously variable transmissions was poised to grant entry to a new star — the snarling, winged and not-yet-born Honda Civic Type R.

Hot hatch aficionados who loathe the three-pedal life rejoiced, while most others recoiled. Well, rest easy, stick fans. Thanks to some very confusing wording in a report originating from England — where the Type R is taking shape — the wrong information got across.

No, there won’t be a CVT in the upcoming Type R. 

When the model bows, expect a sole transmission offering — a six-speed manual. All’s right with the with the world, you’re thinking, unless of course you were holding out for a dual-clutch gearbox. No luck on that front, sorry.

Representatives from Honda have confirmed that the Type R, expected to appear at the Geneva Motor Show, will contain no automated transmission choice. If you’re looking for a hotter Honda with a CVT, cross your fingers and hope that the upcoming Civic Si — which goes on sale this spring — carries the option. That model makes do with a ballsier version of Honda’s 1.5-liter turbo.

While horsepower figures for both the Si and Type R haven’t been released, the rumor mill claims around 220 hp for the lesser Civic and up to 340 hp in the Type R.

[Image: Honda]

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20 Comments on “So, the CVT Honda Civic Type R Isn’t Happening...”

  • avatar

    Well, that 1.5T in the Civic must be ridiculously over-engineered in the base Civic if they can wring 220 HP out of it in a stock tune (and maybe Turbo mods?)

    Makes me feel warm and fuzzy about the 190-ish they get from it in the CR-V I just bought yesterday.

    • 0 avatar

      It seems like all mainline manufacturers are very conservative with their turbo ratings as well as output.

      Price, Power, Durability… Pick two. For manufacturers, they’ll skew price and durability, which is why there’s so much on the table for tuners when it comes to turbos.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        Conservative tuning and turbo sizing is how the manufacturers get wide powerbands starting at 1500 rpm and such. Tuning for maximum horsepower narrows the powerband and makes it peaky.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Doesn’t Honda have a new dual-clutch transmission on the horizon? Why not pair that with both the Si and the Type R as an option, if they’re committed to a self-shifting option? Why neuter it with a CVT? I would say that it’s silly to only offer a manual on the performance trims, but Ford seems to have no issue shifting (if you will) the FiST, FoST and FoRS, which are all manual-only.

    Not that I’d buy the Honda anyway. Overall, if I just had to get a hot-hatch, I think I’d go for the more grown-up Golf GTI or Golf R (especially since VW is desperate for sales and I have some TDI loyalty cash I can spend, I think), which are available in both manual and DCT guises. Or if I wanted a little more fun, I’d split the difference and go for the FoST or FoRS, which are reasonably demure-looking. But these performance Civics are a little too boy-racer for me.

  • avatar

    Honda offering DCT on a Honda model would mean breaking with their current strategy of reserving DCTs only for the Acura brand.

    If Honda wanted to offer a 2nd transmission to the 1.5T Si, adding a CVT seems like it would be the easiest logistical choice. The entire Civic lineup already uses the 1.5T + CVT. Upgrade the internals and you are good to go.

    My initial thought is, DCT should be considered for the Type-R, because it is the highest performance trim. However, the Type-R brand has also historically valued simplicity in design, low weight and driver involvement over outright speed. From this perspective, the extra weight and complexity of a DCT may not make sense.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      “However, the Type-R brand has also historically valued simplicity in design, low weight and driver involvement over outright speed. From this perspective, the extra weight and complexity of a DCT may not make sense…”

      I think you’re right, but the origami design alone of the new Civic, including the Type-R, demonstrates that simplicity is no longer Honda’s mantra here. I wouldn’t be disappointed if it were manual-only (although a DCT could open up new sales channels), but I would be disappointed by a CVT…even though I know Subaru offers one in the WRX and WRX STi (in Japan).

  • avatar

    The front page of RoadandTrack online yesterday was an article about how wonderful the Civic R was going to be with a CVT.

    I don’t see a retraction from them today. I guess Jack gets paid regardless of how truthy his stuff is.

  • avatar

    One observation, and perhaps only a few care about this, but…

    We have a ’16 Civic. The sheet metal is ridiculously thin. It is some high strength stuff, I’m sure, but it is far thinner than the bodywork on our ’14 Civic.

    This presents a problem if you are a cyclist. Myself, I’d probably rule out a roof mounted bike rack on the new Civic. Too easily dented if you tighten the rack a smidge too much, etc. I’ve never owned a car before this where I’d be hesitant to use a Yakima or Thule on the roof, but I wouldn’t on our 2016. The sheet metal oil cans even when being gentle and taking care when you wash the car.

    Now normally, this isn’t an issue, because you just use a hitch mounted rack for your bike. Center exhaust on the Sport hatch and Type R, likely Si…hitch ain’t happening.

    Admittedly, this probably isn’t a deal breaker for most folks, but I just wanted to throw it out there that if you have a Civic with center exhaust, you’d better plan on carrying your bike inside the car. The roof is a really bad idea, and a hitch is an impossible idea. I cycle enough, and transport a bike enough to where this would be an issue to me.

    • 0 avatar

      There are numerous reports on the current MY Fit forums about very small dents appearing on the roof of their cars (especially on the metal just above the doors) just by driving the car over hard bumps, and many times Honda is very reluctant to fix them, blaming the owners. It would indeed be prudent to be super cautions about roof racks.

      Everyone from Porsche to Ferrari offers automatics (or dual clutch “automatics”) in their cars, and their take rate is all way above the 3 pedal set-ups. Honda is leaving a lot of money on the table by only offering a stick.

      • 0 avatar

        The cost to build a reliable, durable, quality DCT, is very high, making it much easier to justify on more expensive cars.

        In addition, Honda buyers are less willing to accept clunkyness in exchange for “Formula 1 inspired” technology, than are buyers of upscale Euro brands.

    • 0 avatar

      This reminds me of Kia Sephia we’d once had. Holly smoke, but the roof was uber thin. And the clearcoat just completely came off it (it had texture of sandpaper after 14 years). Rust all over and eventually sway bar mount broke off the front axle. My 02 Focus is built like a tank compared to that thing (while getting better mpgs, MT being likely the reason). Hopefully high strength steel is also rust resisting steel (as there’s much less to go before the car crumbles).

  • avatar

    Why not add in a CVT. This Type r civic looks like a clown car. I seriously think anyone over the age of 23 will feel embarrassed to drive this car.

    • 0 avatar

      I guess they’re counting on the 23 and under crowd to appreciate the styling in an ironic way.

    • 0 avatar

      The whole sporty civic thing has always been chasing a demo that I just don’t get. I thought the Civic SI was a limp noodle, and at $30000 for the Type R I feel like there’s a plethora of more interesting options that don’t make it look like I’m trying to impressive all the chicks at the anime con. But what do I know?

  • avatar

    Can’t handle the torque. Nissan de-tuned their AWD Oppama Juke Nismo with CVT. Verses the Sunderland front drive manual And we’re only talking early 200’s here…

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    Damn is that an ugly car.

  • avatar

    The manual transmission is encouraging. But the rear spoiler looks like it was inspired by the back legs of a grasshopper.

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