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Geneva show: Honda Civic Type R born to be wild

Civic duty: The Civic Type R will battle the likes of the Renault Megane RS and Subaru Impreza WRX when it arrives in the next 12 months.

Production version of Honda Civic Type R to retain Geneva concept's “extreme” design

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Honda logo10 Mar 2014

By TIM NICHOLSON in GENEVA

HONDA’S imminent road-going Civic Type R hot-hatch will keep most of the extreme styling of the concept version premiered at last week’s Geneva motor show.

The Japanese car-maker’s concept rival to the Renault Megane RS and Volkswagen Golf GTI features a massive rear wing with integrated tail-lights, a huge rear diffuser with quad exhausts and air intakes on the bonnet, giving the regular Civic hatch donor car a wildly aggressive makeover.

Speaking with GoAuto at the Geneva motor show, Honda senior project designer Masaru Hasegawa, who was responsible for the design of the Type R, said he was confident the road car would keep this sort of flair.

“The parts are designed with the feedback from the testing in Europe, although it might be a little more subtle or change into different shapes,” he said.

“But I think the overall image of being quite extreme will definitely stay. Compared to previous Type Rs, I know this is going to be very extreme.” Mr Hasegawa said he could not be sure whether the tail-lights built into the giant spoiler would remain, as Honda needed to factor in the design of the Civic facelift that is coming in the not-too-distant future.

“It is very distinctive and it’s a strong character. We will see how much because we need to consider the base model as well, we will do update on the base model as well.” The Type R was styled at Honda’s research and development centre at Swindon in the United Kingdom, while the production team is based in Japan.

The company is determined to make the 206kW turbocharged 2.0-litre Type R the fastest front-wheel drive car to lap Germany’s famed Nurburgring circuit, but is yet to divulge any performance figures.

Mr Hasegawa said it was unlikely that the styling of the hardcore hot-hatch would end up on other production models, but there was a chance you could see elements of it on sports-oriented Hondas in the future.

“I think this styling is quite specific with certain performance so I would say right now for the Type R only. Some of the graphics or the front face, some of the features might be carried to other models but I think what makes this car very unique or special are the devices around the car so it’s not going to be on a Jazz or some other models.” GoAuto drove a prototype Type R in Tochigi, Japan, last November, and can safely assert that while Honda’s launch of the hottest Civic may be belated, its banzai performance means it has not been time entirely wasted.

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