By on October 11, 2017

218 Honda Civic Type R base illustration - Image: Honda, Illustration: The Truth About CarsAmerican Honda launched the 2017 Honda Civic Type R in a single, fully equipped variant. Although you don’t see it in emblem form on the back of the car, the 2017 Honda Civic Type R is sold exclusively in Touring trim. The model code, evidenced by NHTSA certification papers filed by American Honda and located by TTAC’s own Bozi Tatarevic, is FK8G7.

But Bozi found an extra Civic Type R in American Honda’s NHTSA filings for 2018. It’s still a Type R, it still uses the K20C1 engine that sends 306 horsepower to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. But this is the FK8G3 Civic Type R, sans Touring.

There’s reason to believe it’ll be distinctly more affordable.

Honda NHTSA Civic Type R filings 2018 - Image: NHTSA screenshotIt was way back in June that Steph Willems told you about Honda’s plans to expand the Civic Type R portfolio. “We’re hoping that by gradually putting out more [variants] that we’ll be able to maintain a more stable sales volume,” said the Type R’s chief engineer, Hideki Matsumoto.

Sporty cars, particularly outlandishly styled examples such as the Civic Type R, are prone to satisfying hyped demand early before petering out. This is why so many cars of this type used to be halo models developed at the end of a generation lifecycle.

Automakers don’t want that anymore. Automakers want Golf Rs that coincide with the entire lifecycle of the regular Golf tenure, for example. Automakers want to see the huge investment pay off. By introducing niche variants for one or two model years, automakers don’t earn the right to be considered performance-oriented manufacturers. An automaker must stick with a plan.2017 Honda Civic Type R - Image: HondaBut really, how much long-term demand is there for a $34,775 Honda Civic Type R? And why must a Civic Type R buyer be forced to accept 20-inch Continental SportContact footwear, roof-mounted vortex generators and gigantic rear wing, dual-zone automatic climate control, hugely bolstered front sport seats, and a seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and navigation?

If Honda built a 2018 Civic Type R designed for the tuning community that wants to select its own rubber, swap out Honda’s bodykit for its own, install different seats, and upgrade the audio system, that Civic Type R could be much less costly.

TTAC has heard rumors of a base price in the $30,000 range. Even at $30,900, or $31,775 with fees. That would be a $3,000 price cut, but could Honda’s upcoming base Civic Type R be even less costly? With all-season tires, an absent rear wing, bare bones audio, regular Civic seats, and basic HVAC, a $29,995 MSRP ($30,870 with fees) seems plausible.

And eminently marketable.

[Image: Honda, NHTSA; Illustration: The Truth About Cars]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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55 Comments on “Honda Appears Ready to Launch a Cheaper, Entry-Level 2018 Civic Type R...”

  • avatar

    Re: the side view photo. A good body shop could fix that, but it wouldn’t buff out.

  • avatar

    Yes yes, make a cheaper, wingless version with the smallest wheels that fit over the brakes. Pretty please with splenda on top.

  • avatar

    I don’t care what price it goes for, it’s too ugly to wind up in my driveway.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. I generally am not super picky on how a vehicle looks but the Civic is really putting that to test for me. It looks have been a deal breaker for me so far. The hatch’s styling is particularly egregious. I am not just talking about the Si or R versions either. Hopefully they will tone down the juvenile looks in a refresh.

    • 0 avatar

      It is ugly from every angle. I wouldn’t buy one for that reason alone, regardless of specs.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t understand why Honda (and Subaru for that matter) can’t build a more understated “adult” car around the high performance mechanicals. The cohort they are directly targeting (late teens-early 20s) is not typically in the position to spend $35-40k on a car, while the demographic that CAN afford them has mostly “put away childish things” and is now looking elsewhere for thrills PLUS dignity.

      If Acura would simply wrap something a little cleaner and more refined around the Type R bones, I think it would begin to significantly reinvigorate their image (absolutely necessary if they are serious about stealing buyers from the Germans) and bring back a little of the Legend/Integra/Vigor glory days.

      • 0 avatar


        Reaching back a few years, but the Saab 9-2 was the best WRX available at the time.

        Amazing what 75 pounds of sound insulation will do to a fun little wagon!

      • 0 avatar

        Well said. I’m in the market for this type of car/performance/size but I would not consider buying the Civic R entirely due to it’s appearance. I will select instead the Golf GTI. The GTI may not be as dynamic as the Civic R, but I’d have to live with it every day and actually have to look at it occasionally.
        I agree that Acura will do a lot better job in the styling dept with this chassis but the cost would rise a few thousand dollars. I imaging the next generation ILX will have the toned down styling that would be acceptable to me.

    • 0 avatar

      FWIW, I think it might be better in black. All the busy black grille cues that stand out in other colors would be much less noticeable on a black car and would probably mellow the overall look.

  • avatar

    I’d like to see a more general trend in this direction. I’d like a CC F-150 with a 78″ bed and a “raptor” package. I’d like an M3 built off a base 3-series. I’d ilke a Focus RS built on a base Focus.

    In short, I’d like the “performance” variant to be be a $5,000 box you can check on an order form, not effectively a $20,000 package that includes all kinds of crap I don’t want.

    • 0 avatar

      The non performance parts doesn’t cost “anything” to add, something the performance parts do. Nobody wants to entice a buyer with $50K to spend, into spending it on a $45K to build performance stripper, rather than a $25K to build blinged out cheapo. So they make the $45K to build performance version a blinged out non-cheapo, and sell it for $75K…

      Most companies, in most industries, cannot do this for long, since the demand would get satisfied by new entrants enticed by the fat margins. But the auto industry is so regulated for the benefit of protected incumbents, that it is virtually impossible to set up shop solely selling stripper M3s, XL grade Raptors and other models specifically built to benefit from temporary/local market inefficiencies.

      Per current regs, you could do it as kit cars, if you could guarantee current kit car regs would remain stable. But noone is willing to bet car-company-from-scratch money on that remaining so, once you start eating away at the well connecteds’ most profitable models.

    • 0 avatar

      They’ve also found that performance packages that don’t look that different from a regular version don’t sell well. So manufacturers will be unlikely to sell you a checkbox version that performs like the full monty.

    • 0 avatar
      cimarron typeR

      the aftermarket for sporting base platforms are stronger and more reliable than ever, if you’re willing to take a minimal risk on buying a used car . Myself Having aftermarket supercharger kits on a e36, e46 platforms for a total of 5yrs and 180k miles combined(not all of those miles were modified, but kits were added after buying a used car), I wouldn’t hesitate to build not buy

  • avatar
    Ol Shel

    Move the whole drivetrain to the back wheels of the Fit, and include a coupon for some sways and coilovers. I’d pay $30K for that.

    • 0 avatar

      “Move the whole drivetrain to the back wheels of the Fit”



      Car and Driver, where are you. If you can do the twin drive CRX, you can do this.

      And I will let you add those R5 Turbo fenders. And I will DD this thing forever.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    GT3 Touring: no ridiculous rear wing
    GT3: ridiculous rear wing

    CTR Touring: ridiculous rear wing
    CTR: No ridiculous rear wing


  • avatar

    I would buy a Type-R that looks like a Sport.

    • 0 avatar

      I would buy a Type R that looks like an Acura ILX, adult clothes and all.

      Please, Acura, do the right thing and make the next gen ILX a simple, rational looking Civic–inside and out–with that torque converter dual clutch trans, a luxury interior, and the Type R motor and suspension.

      You could even throw in SH-AWD.

      I’ve sworn never to give another dime to American Honda, but that one…that one would task me.

      • 0 avatar

        If you are really, really lucky, you’ll get a new ILX in a year with a decent automatic. And FWD only.

        Today’s Acura simply doesn’t roll like that no more.

      • 0 avatar

        I agree. I probably would have bought this car 7-10 years ago. I just don’t think you can be over 30 and drive one of these. An ILX version would probably get my money.

        • 0 avatar

          Per Honda, that big wing is VERY much functional. Take it off and, Honda not being 70s era Lancia, would surely compensate by making the car less flighty at speed by other means. Almost certainly giving it more boringly traditional FWD dynamics….. It’s still a base Civic shape, designed around practical interior volume uber alles, underneath all that cladding. Not something purpose built from the grounds up for 300+HP attainable speeds, like the GT3.

          • 0 avatar

            > Per Honda, that big wing is VERY much functional.

            It is indeed functional. Functionally hideous.

            The Type R will need every bit of its 306 horsepower just to outrun its looks.

  • avatar

    I think a lower cost Type R is a good move.

    VW did something similar with the 2017 MK7 GTI. They released a Sport trim level that pulled in the good bits from the Lighting and Performance Package (non-adaptive Xenon headlights, LSD, bigger brakes, engine tune) but left off comfort features like sunroof, leather seats and automatic HVAC.

    I also remember Mitsubishi (Subaru too?) doing a “Touring” trim level on the Evo. Remove gigantic spoiler, add heated leather seats, sound deadening and a sunroof.

    • 0 avatar

      The Sport does have the all-singing-all-dancing headlights. Work very nicely. But yes, I found it to be the sweet spot in the lineup, and easy enough with VWs being Lego cars to add back in the few things missing I wanted, like folding mirrors, auto-dim rearview with Homelink, and auto on/off headlights. Only thing I really miss is auto-wipers and I COULD add that too, it’s just a lot of work.

      All in a delightfully restrained and adult-looking wrapper. With lovely plaid cloth seats.

      • 0 avatar

        krhodes, our taste in cars is similar. If I recall correctly, you had or have a RWD E91 6MT. Now the GTI with plaid seats. Both cars I would love to have, but didn’t work out for one reason or another. RWD 6MT E91s are hard to find, especially with low miles and at least the Sport package. When I was shopping for a car in March, for the features I wanted the GTI was out of my price range.

        If VW offered a GTI with plaid seats, no sunroof, rain sensing wipers, auto A/C, adaptive HIDs, Performance Package and Kessy – I would have had a very hard time turning away. Or the same 0features in a MQB GLI.

        I ended up with a Mazda 6 Touring. It has nearly everything I wanted (prox key, great steering, rain sensing wipers, auto a/c, auto headlights) but lacks fancy headlights and the engine is just kind of average. If Mazda sold a 6 Grand Touring with stick, I wouldn’t have hesitated. Canada gets this option but the USA does not.

  • avatar

    Regardless of the equipment it would be nice to be able to buy a Type R without additional dealer markup.

    • 0 avatar

      I would pay additional dealer markup if I could get it without the additional Fast and Bi-Curious bodywork.

      It’s got to be easy enough to transfer that drivetrain into a simple plain Touring body. We just need a donor…

    • 0 avatar

      The Honda dealer down the hill from me has the only remaining type-R in the Seattle area. Asking price: $60k. I’m assuming that they’ve figured once they’ve got the last 2017 around, someone will pony up for it.

      • 0 avatar

        Dealer about 45 min where i live, they selling 2 typeR. White for $60,000 and gray for $55,000. Im talikng about between $20,000 and $25,000 different. i really want to see who willing pay for the different to get the type R.
        * 1 thing no one had not talk about is “The financial”. If someone buy at the price $55,000 + TT&L. That mean your down payment will be around $23,450 .the financial only let get a loan base on MSRP price.
        That is $23,450 , someone willing pay the different can payoff a honda civic but just give a sellman $23,450 for free.
        ** will you pay the different to get type R?

  • avatar

    Camry Designers: I’m going to make one hell of an ugly car!!

    Civic Designers: Hold my beer.

  • avatar

    Include CarPlay, ditch the rest and you’ll get the car near the top of my list of replacements.

  • avatar

    I think it looks great. Without the wing, even better.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    According to Autotrader I can get a brand new silver Jetta S 5 speed for 10.5k 173 miles away in Rockville Maryland . Is this for reals or just some online BS ? It can’t possibly be real since I paid 11.5k for my new 1988 CRX Si IN 1988 !

  • avatar

    Wing delete – done.
    Complaints about styling – will continue.

    They’ll sell everyone they can make.

    GT3: box on box styling, awesome! Once a Rabbit, always a Rabbit.

  • avatar

    Cheaper?! They should charge MORE for it. Lighter, smaller (better) wheels, no wing. Demand is there, no?

  • avatar

    An Acura ILX with this full drivetrain/powertrain for $30k. Hit.

  • avatar

    Slowly but surely the new Civic’s awful looks are becoming more palatable by the day. They are becoming “normal”. The hatch is still awful though. Praying for a significant mid model facelift that does away with the nonsense…. that combined with this no-frills CTR would make an interesting proposition.

  • avatar

    I dunno, Kia tried that with the Forte 5 SX. In 2016 there was two levels, base had the 201HP engine and sport suspension with cloth seats, the “tech” or whatever they called it added leather, upgraded stereo, nav, all the goodies. End of 2017 model year, my local dealer still had one of these 2016s.

    They discontinued the base option in 2017. While not a direct competitor to the Type R, it probably appeals to the same type of person, but with less money to spend.

  • avatar

    Ah, the Roadrunner to Honda’s GTX.

    It’s funny, as the styling was made more aggressive to counter many complaints of the older models’ conservative (read: bland) lines.

    They need to dampen that pendulum swing.

  • avatar

    TTAC often quotes Jalopnik.

    It was cool to read Jalopnik today and see them quoting this TTAC article!

  • avatar

    If it’s cheaper and LIGHTER, they have a winner.

  • avatar

    My eyes! It burns…!

  • avatar

    I think the Civic Type R is looking good if you are honda family. If you are not a fan of civic, It’s just a civic.
    The thing i hate the most of honda civic type R is The Price. The dealers wont sell you a civic type r at the MSRP $34,775.

  • avatar

    The problem Honda has is dealer markup on the Type Rs, and a cheaper Type R isn’t going to solve that problem. I was shopping for an Si, and the dealerships were using the Type R as an excuse to jack up the price on the Si’s they had in stock.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Whereas one can buy a base GTI for same or less, and in 2018, have a 6yr warranty bumper to bumper

    • 0 avatar

      >Whereas one can buy a base GTI for same or less, and in 2018, have a 6yr warranty bumper to bumper

      And for another $600, an APR Stage I tune boosts the engine output to 316 hp and 381 ft-lbs of torque.

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