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Civic Type R back from the dead

R is for Return: The Honda Civic Type R is set to re-appear in 2013, after the previous version (left) was discontinued at the start this year. Note: Picture below is of standard Civic hatch.

Honda looks set to revive the Civic Type R hot hatch for production from 2013

19 Jul 2012

HONDA is poised to announce the return of its iconic Civic Type R hot hatch, with a new version based on the current five-door Civic hatch set to appear in Europe early next year.

Company insiders have told UK publication Autocar that production of the fourth-generation model will be confirmed at the Paris motor show in September before a public debut early next year, possibly at the Geneva motor show in March.

By the time the car hits European roads in the second half of 2013, the Type R badge will have been out of production for almost two years, with the previous version discontinued at the beginning of 2012 following the launch of the new-shape British-built Civic hatch.

The likely confirmation of a new model would mark a change of heart by the Japanese manufacturer, which has previously indicated that the Civic Type R had joined the great production scrapheap alongside other performance luminaries like the Integra Type R and S2000.

Not much is known about the new model, but the car will reportedly feature a five-door bodystyle in place of the previous three-door layout, allowing Honda to match the practicality of key rivals such as the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Renault Megane Sport and forthcoming Ford Focus ST.

Powertrain details are not known and it remains unclear whether Honda will stick with one of its usual high-revving VTEC naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines.

The previous Type R expired when its 148kW/193Nm 2.0-litre non-turbo engine failed to meet tougher Euro 5 emissions regulations.

Honda might opt to update this freewheeling engine, or adopt the approach taken by many other companies and develop a lower-revving turbocharged engine.

It could even employ a hybrid drivetrain such as a higher-performing version of the unit used on the CR-Z two-door coupe, where the electric motor is used to provide extra performance to the petrol engine, not just to cut fuel use and emissions.

Expect whatever powertrain emerges to be matched with a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox and, as with previous Type Rs, drive the front wheels.

If the new Type R does make it to production, expect it to come to Australia in early 2014.

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