Rumor Mill: Honda Civic Type R to Get Even Wilder

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

The Honda Civic Type R isn’t exactly subtle.

Its boy-racer styling and big wing announce its presence and mission with authority. It’s as if Honda is saying, “Hey, you want subtlety in a hi-po Civic? Get a Si.” Note: The Si is easily identifiable because of a spoiler of its own, albeit one that’s far less ostentatious.

If the current Type R doesn’t exactly blend, what does one make of the rumors swirling across the Internets this morning?

Rumors that suggest a bump of nearly 100 horsepower, up to 400, and the addition of all-wheel-drive?

If you’re a hot hatch fan or Honda stan, you probably sat up straighter in your chair.

Alas, rumors are just that, and there’s no telling, at this point, what the truth is. The Type R is an especially confounding case, as earlier rumors suggested the car might go all-electric, and then, later, it was said that nope, the car would remain purely fueled by petrol.

This particular rumor suggests a hybrid setup, with the 2.0-liter turbo four mating to two electric motors, with the gas engine powering the front wheels and the electric motors motivating the rears. If that setup sounds familiar, it’s like the Acura NSX, only reversed.

All told, the powertrain will make “nearly” 400 horsepower, according to Motor1’s translation of, a Japanese automotive Web site.

No word on transmission, but a hybrid setup would seem to imply an automatic of some sort. On the other hand, the stick in the current Type R is so sublime that it makes a strong argument, and both the current Si and Type R are manual-only. Automatics may have caught up to – and in some cases, surpassed – manuals in terms of performance and fuel economy, but some cars draw buyers because they keep the manual flame burning, and these Civics fit that bill.

On the other hand, I’ve been told off-record by Honda folks that the next Accord might ditch the stick. So Honda may be following the rest of the industry in realizing that enthusiast cred, but a low take rate, isn’t worth it.

Regardless of available transmission(s), a 400-hp hot hatch with all-wheel-drive grip is nothing to sneeze at.

Again, though, rumors are just that, and there have been many swirling about the Type R. As noted above, they’re all over the place, with no one line of speculation being dominant. And Honda execs have been publicly vague.

We reached out to Honda for comment, with a spokeswoman telling us, “No comment on future product.”

The best guess for the appearance of the next-gen Type R is the 2022 model year. Given that possible timing, it could be a while before any official announcement is made. Until then, take all rumors with a grain of salt, but feel free to daydream about a 400-horsepower AWD Type R.

[Image: Honda]

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for, CarFax,, High Gear Media, Torque News,,, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as,, and He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

More by Tim Healey

Join the conversation
2 of 8 comments
  • Master Baiter Master Baiter on Jul 11, 2020

    I looked on the web at five or six Honda dealers in my area and did not see a single Type R in inventory. Is this thing a ghost?

  • Noble713 Noble713 on Jul 13, 2020

    I like Honda motorcycles. I've never really been into their cars since almost all of them are FWD only, but I love their interior styling. I would take a hard look at an AWD Honda.....if I hadn't already settled on an Evo X as my "this will be my DD forever" car. It's always weird seeing the shade the American car community throws at Hondas and Japanese styling ("boy racer", etc...). Everyone I know in Japan driving a high-spec Honda is a middle-aged guy with a normal middle-class job and kids.

  • JOHN One is for sale on an ebay car donation site.
  • Scott So they are losing hundreds of millions of dollars and they are promising us a “Cheaper EV”? I wonder how that will look and feel? They killed the Fiesta because they claimed that they couldn’t make a profit on them and when I bought the first one in late 2010 they couldn’t deliver the accessories I wanted for it! Then I bought a 2016 Fiesta ST and again couldn’t get the accessories for it I wanted. They claimed that the components were going to be available, eventually. So they lost on that one as well! I don’t care about what they say anymore. I’ve moved on to another brand.
  • Michael S6 CX 70 or 90 will not be on my buying list. Drove a rental base CX 90 and it was noisy and the engine noise was not pleasant. Ride was rough for a family SUV. Mazda has to understand that what is good for Miata isn't what we expect in semi luxury SUV. My wife's 2012 Buick Enclave has much better Ride and noise level albeit at worse gas millage. Had difficulty pairing my phone with Apple CarPlay
  • Michael S6 What is the metric conversion between one million barrels and the number of votes he expects to buy.
  • NJRide This could give Infiniti dealers an extra product maybe make it a sub brand