By on July 10, 2020


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 #savethemanuals 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]

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8 Comments on “Rumor Mill: Honda Civic Type R to Get Even Wilder...”

  • avatar

    An act of desperation. USA sales are flat. Market share down from their peak a decade ago. Children who might stomach the stying are broke, as are mommy and daddy. At what point will this company wake up?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Good points.

      The mythical 400-HP Type R will be priced in the mid-to-high 40s, out of reach for the target boy-racer audience. Top MSRP for today’s Type R is already $43k.

      So much extra engineering, cost, and complexity for an extremely small audience.

  • avatar

    It needs a coffee can tailpipe at least 6″ diameter.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Wish they’d make a CRX version. Either that or a better styled version for Acura.

  • avatar

    I have a 2019 Civic Si. I could have afforded a Type R, but just didn’t see the value when my objective was a fun daily driver, not a track car. But credit Honda for offering a performance package for every budget.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    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?

  • avatar

    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.

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