Just don't look for it on a race track.
All hope was gone for a cheap sports car from Honda when the automaker decided to price the newest NSX supercar at $156,000. That effectively signaled a price jump of $60,000 to $100,000 over the first generation NSX, which started at $60,000 when production started in 1991. And then the 306 horsepower Civic Type R came out with a promising price of $34,775, though greedy dealerships quickly tarnished the dreams of many a gearhead a by gouging prices, charging as much as $25,000 over MSRP.
Thankfully Honda is on our side, the side of the enthusiasts, because a few recent murmurings seem to indicate that it wants a performance product that slashes prices even further. We recently heard about an entry-level Civic Type R that could undercut the current Type R Touring's price, but Stephen Collins, the director of Honda Australia, told CarAdvice that we could see a smaller, cheaper, and newer sports car from Honda entirely. "We've said it a number of times: we really want to dial up the sportiness of our range and our brand," said Collins. "NSX is one part of that, Type R is another. But if anything else becomes available, we'd really be chasing that pretty hard."
That something else, he adds, should come in at around $30,000. "Type R is a hot hatch and if there's another type of sports car that becomes available to us, say if it was a convertible or something that could come in at around $30,000 (list price), that would be very desirable for us," said Collins. Unfortunately, it's not like Honda can look much lower than the Civic. It sells the compact Fit in the US and the even smaller S660 outside our borders, but Collins was clear that the latter of those two would not be getting a Type R makeover. "…but if a small, sporty car like that became available to Honda Australia we'd definitely stick up our hand for it. Sadly, the S660 is not an option for us," said Collins.
In fact, Collins' hints at sportier Hondas don't allude to new Type R variants at all. Rather, he suggests that Honda wants to exacerbate its sporty character with more mainstream offerings such as RS versions of existing models (which we see in the US as Si-badged Hondas). "The Civic RS, for example, isn't a sports car but it has [a certain level of] sportiness. Where we can, we're going to try to roll out more RS versions in other model lines," Collins said. "We think that will contribute to the sporty heritage of our brand." So is this good news or not? For families with an aggressive driver and a not so aggressive budget, it certainly is. However we doubt this will get pulses racing for anyone who regularly attends track days.