It's Looking Like the Next Honda Civic Type R Won't Be Gas-only
Honda’s hottest front-driver, the Civic Type R, may be homeless once the company’s Swindon, UK assembly plant closes in 2022, but its future will not end there.
Based on comments made at the Geneva Motor Show, it seems the next-generation model will likely tone down its appearance while accepting a helping hand from electrification.
The motivation for a hybrid Type R could lie in the automaker’s ambitious product plans for Europe. Lagging in that market, Honda believes low-emission driving is the key to unlocking sales. With this in mind, the company just announced that every Honda vehicle sold in that region in 2025 will host either a hybrid or electric powertrain.
“We think it’d be quite easy to achieve Type R performance with a full EV right now, but Type R isn’t just about performance,” he said. “It’s also about handling, operation and driveability. We don’t think it’s as simple as replacing that with electric power. That’s not the right direction for Type R.”
Hitomi suggested there’s early planning afoot to look at how the Type R experience could be improved by electrification.
“People complained when we said the Type R would use a turbocharger, but now they appreciate the new possibilities this has provided,” Hitomi said. “I believe it would be the same for electrified vehicles as well; people who love Type R will come to realise what it can add to the driving experience. We just need to find the best attributes that are relevant for the Type R, so as to enhance the experience without losing what makes a Type R.”
Hitomi’s remarks comes as Europeans prepare to take ownership of Honda’s new CR-V Hybrid. Differing from conventional hybrids, the electrified CR-V uses a multi-mode setup combining two electric motors and a fixed-gear transmission. Three drive modes allow the driver to put power to the front or all four wheels in a variety of ways:
Honda Europe describes the modes here:
EV Drive, where the lithium-ion battery supplies power to the electric propulsion motor directly; Hybrid Drive, where the engine supplies power to an electric generator motor, which in turn supplies it to the electric propulsion motor; and Engine Drive, where the engine is connected directly to the wheels via a lock-up clutch
Doesn’t sound engaging enough for a Type R buyer, but Acura’s NSX provides another example of how to use electrification to a vehicle’s advantage. Three electric motors, a V6 engine, and a conventional transmission type combine to give the NSX all-wheel-drive potency. If Honda engineers do bestow electrification upon the Type R, it’s not unthinkable that the model might see its rear axle come alive.
As for where that model will come from, that’s another story. Honda said following the Swindon announcement that North America will draw its future Civic models from within the region, meaning the hot hatch will have to find a home at an American or Canadian plant.
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- Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
- Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
- ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
- ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
- Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?