Boy racers across the globe shed a small tear when Honda retired its iconic Civic Type R model a few years ago because its high-revving, naturally aspirated 2-litre engine was deemed to be adversely damaging the environment.
Many thought it would never return but the Japanese marque has gone back to the drawing board, ripped up its old powerplants and started afresh with new, turbocharged engines that go heavy on performance but go easy on the environment.
The upcoming model has been undergoing some serious testing ahead of its big reveal at the Tokyo motor show later this week but the light camouflaging covering its flanks allow us a good preview of how the model will look.
Angular, futuristic styling is still central to the car’s overall look, so to are larger-than-life alloy wheels and big, twin exhaust pipes. The new Type R’s silhouette also features a few nods to the original ‘bread van’ model, with a flatter nose and steeper rake running up the windscreen towards the B-pillar.
New Type R models will be powered by a fresh 2-litre, direct injection, four-cyclinder turbo engine that is expected to have class-leading output in excess of 278bhp yet will be EURO 6 compliant.
Honda’s WTCC driver Gabriele Tarquini has been lucky enough to give the pre-production model a good shakedown and he said: “The car and the characteristics of the car were fantastic. I was really impressed by the power and the torque of the engine but also by the set-up they achieved… The car is very pointed on the front and very fast to change direction”.
He added: “This car is very close to my racing car and you can feel very well the DNA of Type R.”