Next stop: SEMA in Las Vegas.
Closely following the sales launch of the 2017 Civic hatchback, Honda has just shown off the new Civic Type R at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, albeit in prototype form. Luckily US fans of the car will also be able to see it in the metal at the 2016 SEMA show in Las Vegas this November which should really get interest up stateside. This marks the arrival of the first-ever Honda in the United States to wear the "Type R" badge along with the iconic red "H" badge. In our opinion Honda couldn't have chosen a better car to first place these badges on.
We promised the most ambitious, sportiest Civic lineup ever and we're delivering on that promise with each new Civic," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "For the first time ever in America, Honda fans and enthusiasts will have access to the ultimate in Civic performance in the form of the new Type R." The car is based on the Civic hatchback's wide and low proportions but with beefier body styling and wings and vents that look over the top but are actually fully functional and add to the car's amazing performance. There's also carbon fiber all over the place; that's a win in anyone's books.
Carbon fiber is found up front in a winged splitter, along the full length of the sides for the side skirts and also for the diffuser round back. Other features include a hood intake, smoked lenses on all the exterior lighting that gives the car an aggressive look, large 20-inch alloy wheels finished in piano black and model-exclusive vortex generators at the rear edges of the roof. There's three functional tailpipes with the smaller center one highlighted in bright metallic red. In the metal the new prototype looks almost subdued, but once you see the big Brembo brakes up front and the mean wing in the back you know this car means business. It still skews "boy racer" (thank the new hood scoop for that) but not nearly as much as the previous-gen Type R.
Honda hasn't released any engine info but we expect that all of the aero bits on the car aren't just for show. (If that hood scoop and those new vents are just cosmetic we might riot.) The car will be officially unveiled in production form next year and sales will start in Europe in the second half of 2017. Pricing has not been announced, although we did learn in an interview with Honda that the goal is to keep it affordable. Knowing Honda there shouldn't be too much of a difference between this prototype and the production-spec version. Well, we hope so anyway.