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Paris show: Honda heats up with Civic Type R

Type cast: A number of styling cues have carried over from the outgoing Euro-spec Type R to the new version.

Honda uncovers new-gen Civic Type R ‘prototype’ ahead of 2017 launch

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Honda logo29 Sep 2016

By TIM NICHOLSON

HONDA has ripped the covers from its wild new-generation Civic Type R hot hatch at the Paris motor show, revealing the model that will take the fight to the likes of the Renault Megane RS.

While Honda is calling it a prototype, it is likely that the design of the production-ready version – set to be revealed next year – will differ little from the grey Paris show car.

Honda employed a similar strategy when it revealed the Civic hatch prototype at this year’s Geneva motor show and followed it up with a virtually identical production model in August.

Exact Australian timing is yet to be officially confirmed, but the Type R is likely to sprint into Honda dealerships in the second half of 2017, following the launch of the regular Civic hatch in the first half.

Like all global markets, the Australian-spec Type R will be sourced from Honda’s Swindon plant in the United Kingdom.

The low and wide design of the standard Civic hatch is accentuated on the new Type R, which has retained a number of styling cues from the outgoing European-market model that was not offered in Australia.

Some of the carry over cues include an aggressive front bumper with a carbon-fibre splitter and red accent line, as well as diamond mesh inserts in the grille and air intakes. However, there are new additional slatted ducts in the bumper.

Also familiar are the chunky wheel arches housing 20-inch piano black alloy wheels with red accents on 245-section high-performance tyres.

Honda has added a bonnet scoop for the new-gen model for added aggression, while the red ‘H’ Honda badge – which is standard fare for any Type R variant – sits proudly in the centre of the front grille.

Other sporty styling flourishes include smoked lenses for the LED headlights and carbon-fibre side skirts running the length of the wheelbase.

At the rear, the Type R gains a carbon-fibre diffuser, three tailpipes – the central pipe is smaller than the other two and is ringed in metallic red – while peaks on the roof of the car point towards the massive rear wing.

Honda is keeping quiet about the powertrain of the new-gen Type R, but given how recently it developed the outgoing version, it is likely that it will use a modified version of the same 2.0-litre turbocharged VTEC petrol engine.

In its current guise, the Type R pumps out 224kW and 400Nm, which made it the most potent front-wheel-drive hatch in the world at the time of its reveal in March last year.

Honda Australia elected to not import the outgoing Type R, with the company telling GoAuto last year that it made sense to wait for the new-generation Civic instead.

The Japanese car-maker has also kept the interior under wraps for now and will likely release more information in a drip feed between now the reveal of the production-ready model next year.

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