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Circa-$50k price for Honda Civic Type R

Ready to roll: An official order book will open for the Civic Type R in June, but Honda Australia is already holding up to 200 pre-orders for the manic front-drive hot hatch.

Honda holds up to 200 orders for Civic Type R ahead of October launch

Honda logo11 May 2017

By TIM NICHOLSON

HONDA Australia says it is aiming for a circa-$50,000 starting price for its hi-po Civic Type R hot hatch when it blasts into showrooms from October this year.

The Japanese car-maker looks to be positioning the front-wheel-drive Type R as a rival for the all-paw Ford Focus RS that starts at $50,990 plus on-road costs and the AWD Volkswagen Golf R that is priced from $52,990, rather than their front-drive siblings, the $38,990 Focus ST and $41,490 Golf GTI.

Other likely rivals include the $49,990 Peugeot 308 GTi and Subaru’s WRX STI that is priced between $49,740 and $55,640.

Speaking with journalists at the Civic hatch launch in Adelaide this week, Honda Australia director Stephen Collins said the company was working towards a competitive price point for the Type R, but that currency rates would play a part.

“I think we have said from day one we want to target around the 50 mark,” he said. “Some of you have asked if it will be over or under. We still need to work that out. It will depend a bit on the strength of the Aussie dollar.

“We have to be pretty close to that $50,000 mark. We will confirm that as soon as we can. I always say we just want to hit that sweet spot in the hot-hatch segment and it is around that 50 mark.” Honda Australia general manager of customer and communications Scott McGregor confirmed that the Type R would only be offered in one specification grade in Australia.

“In terms of spec it is going to be very highly specced. And obviously … with the competitive set, it is going to have to be priced very competitively as well so we think the package we will have in market will be very, very strong.” Honda UK announced earlier this month that the Type R would be available in two spec levels in its market, with the entry-level variant starting at 30,995 ($A55,000), while the more generously equipped GT would cost an extra 2000 ($A3500).

Mr McGregor said Honda dealers were holding a number of pre-launch orders from keen customers, some of whom have put money down before knowing the price or specification.

“We had a CR-V launch with dealers last week and all of them were talking about the fact that customers were coming in and expressing early interest,” he said. “We think, roughly, we are holding anywhere up to around 200 pre-orders for Type R as we speak today.

“To the point where we are actually going to be opening the official order books early so we can make sure, in terms of colours and things, we are going to be right in terms of stock for when that car actually arrives.

“We are really excited about this car. We know it is going to add a halo to the Civic brand that has been missing for a little while.” Mr Collins said Honda would advise dealers of basic specification and colour choice later this month so they can pass the information on to potential buyers, while full spec and pricing is likely to be released in June when the company opens up its official order books.

He said he did not envisage any problems with supply of the Type R when it goes on sale and declined to nominate specific sales targets.

“I think at this stage, we are sort of not going into the detail of our volumes, but we want it to be a car that we sell reasonable volumes of,” he said. “I think we’re talking more than 100 a month sort of thing.

“Now, as you know those type of cars have a good period early on and tend to fall off quite steeply.

“So at this stage we’re not committed to any volumes, but we want to make it seen on the road. We want to see cars out there. And of course, it’s manual transmission only, so that will appeal to a certain market. We know there’s a manual transmission market. So at this stage we haven’t finalised the volumes.” Ford Australia sold its allocation of 500 Focus RSs before it officially went on sale in Australia in July last year.

As reported, the Type R will pack a 2.0-litre VTEC turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine producing 235kW/400Nm, teamed exclusively to a six-speed gearbox.

Late last month, a Type R set the Nurburgring lap record for a front-wheel-drive vehicle, clocking a time of 7 minutes 43.8 seconds.

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