Don't worry though, it will still be fast.
Honda grabbed our attention at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show with the cutely-styled E Prototype, which may eventually spawn a new electric sports car. We know EV drivetrains have huge potential in performance cars but Honda knows there is still a place for internal combustion. Honda recently announced plans to electrify its entire European lineup by 2025 but where does this leave the Civic Type R?
The Type R's future is already in question after Honda announced plans to shut down the Uk factory where it is built. Speaking to Kohei Hitomi, the project leader on the E Prototype, PistonHeads was able to squeeze out a bit of detail about the next generation Civic Type R.
Honda knows an electric sports car can be a good idea but it also knows fans of the Type R may not be ready for such a transition. "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,” Hitomi 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.” Instead, the next Type R could rely on a hybridized version of the current drivetrain, which would be less of a shock to enthusiasts.
"People complained when we said the Type R would use a turbocharger, but now they appreciate the new possibilities this has provided,” Hitomi explained. "I believe it would be the same for electrified vehicles as well; people who love Type R will come to realize 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.”
It is not hard to imagine a hybrid system mating with Honda's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine to produce far more than the 306 horsepower found on the current Type R. With an electric motor driving the rear wheels, Honda could even give the Type R the all-wheel-drive system many critics have been asking for. Honda has shown the potential of an AWD hybrid on the Acura NSX, so we predict a hybrid Type R could be marvelous.