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Frankfurt show: Honda Civic Type R goes turbo

Honda details 206kW turbocharged Civic Type R hot hatch for 2015

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Honda logo11 Sep 2013

By MIKE COSTELLO in FRANKFURT

HONDA spilled the beans on its forthcoming Civic Type R hot hatch at the Frankfurt motor show this week, pricking the ears of performance enthusiasts with the promise of serious performance credentials.

In a forthright update, Honda Motors Europe president Manabu Nishimae told media the company was deep in testing at the Nurburgring, and tracking well towards its target of displacing the Renault Megane RS 265 as the fastest front-drive car around the famous German track.

The Megane clocked 8 minutes and 7.97 seconds. Honda still has two years to beat that, as the Type R won't be going on sale until 2015, but the company says it’s already close to eclipsing the mark.

“We have recently spent a week at the Nurburgring, carrying out extensive testing and we are on target, and have already set a time approaching the lap record,” said Nishimae-san.

The company also put rumours of a hybrid powertrain, a la the CR-Z, to bed by confirming the production Type R would use a brand new direct-injected 2.0-litre turbocharged engine producing about 206kW - more than the RS Megane, Focus ST and Golf GTI.

The move to a force-fed powertrain is necessitated by Honda’s low emissions targets. The previous-generation Type-R was discontinued in early 2012 when its 148kW/193Nm 2.0-litre non-turbo engine failed to meet tougher Euro 5 emissions regulations.

A sneak preview video revealed at the launch, featuring WTCC driver Gabriele Tarquini, reveals Honda will offer a traditional manual gearbox, although an auto option could well be offered.

By re-launching the Type R, and committing to make a new (hybrid) NSX supercar from late 2014, Honda is making a concerted effort to return to its performance roots after a few years in the wilderness.

In the past decade it has not only dropped the NSX and Type R for a period of time, but has also sent the Integra Type R and the S2000 roadster to the great production scrapheap.

Starring on Honda’s Frankfurt show stand was the new Civic Tourer wagon, which as we’ve reported, won’t come to Australia.

Honda confirmed the Tourer will achieve low CO2 emissions from 99g/km when powered by its 1.6 i-DTEC diesel engine. The British built Civic Tourer will offer class-leading boot space and practicality and will go on sale in early 2014 in Europe.

"For me, the strength of the car is the synergy of functionality, versatility, and dynamic design. As a European development team, we’re passionate and proud about what we’ve achieved”, said project leader Adrian Killham.

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