The Honda Civic Type R might be enjoying a very public gestation – and a lengthy one at that – but we’re hoping it’s going to be worth the wait. It wasn’t until the Geneva reveal of the Concept that we were able to gauge how the Swindon-built super-hatch is going to look when it goes on sale in 2015.
It’s certainly an extreme-looking car, with more than its fair share of aerodynamic addenda. With big flared wheelarches, a stacked rear wing, a rear diffuser with dual twin exhausts and a big rear spoiler incorporating the tail lights, it’s clear this is going for the jugular of the established hot hatch elite.
The big story is the expected performance, which is said to be sensational in Honda’s first turbocharged petrol road car. To prove it, Honda will be going all guns blazing for the front-wheel drive lap record at Nurburgring – but SEAT has already moved the goalposts with the Leon Cupra 280, setting a time of 7min 58.44sec . Unlike previous versions, the new Civic Type R will feature a turbocharged engine with more than 280bhp, putting it amongst the most powerful hot hatches. It will certainly be a different prospect than the last Civic Type R, which had 197bhp when competitors had more.
As you’d expect the new Type R will have numerous changes made to its suspension set-up – and it has been honed by several professional drivers, including Honda WTCC’s Gabriele Tarquini. Considerable development time will be put in at the Nurburgring Nordschleife – which probably means it could be too stiff to be comfortable on UK roads. It depends on how much time the European chassis team will be able to spend on real roads, too.
Although the latest Civic was launched in 2012, the Type R won’t be going on sale until 2015.