While Australia missed out on receiving the current generation of Honda’s turbocharged Civic Type R, the replacement for that short-lived model has been spied undergoing testing at the Nurburgring circuit in Germany.
The current 2016 Honda Civic Type R – the first model in the Civic Type R’s 19-year history to feature a turbocharged powerplant – only went on sale in Europe in the second half of 2015.
That car’s lifespan will be brutally short. Its successor is set to make its debut either later this year or early in 2017, and Honda Australia tells TMR a local launch is expected sometime in the middle of 2017.
At that point the Civic Type R will become the only UK-sourced Honda Civic for the Australian market, with sourcing for regular Civic Hatch models switching to Thailand when the all-new hatch range arrives early in 2017.
The Civic sedan, which launched here in April this year, is already sourced from Thailand.
Captured on video by Youtube user Nordschleife-Video, the next Type R’s exhaust note has the same aural qualities as the current model and there are no seamless gearchanges to suggest the presence of a fast-shifting automatic gearbox.
That’s in line with present rumours, which say Honda’s next hatchback hero will will stick with the current car’s 2.0 litre engine and manual-only driveline.
In its present form, Honda’s 2.0 litre turbo powertrain makes 228kW of power at 6500rpm and 400Nm of torque at 2500rpm, with a redline of 7000rpm. All of that grunt is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual.
The next-gen model isn’t expected to deviate too much from those stats, though a mild power and torque boost could be on the cards. Suspension and other chassis changes may provide the bulk of performance improvements instead.
Looking beyond the camo it’s clear the 2017 Civic Type R will carry the same wild design themes as the current model (above), with a sizable rear wing, flared arches and an aggressive aero package to differentiate it from cooking model Civics.
One feature of the prototype sighted in this video that hasn’t been seen in previous spy photos is a bonnet scoop near the base of the windscreen, possibly to aid with turbocharger cooling.
It’s a feature not present on the current model. With more power typically generating more heat, it may indicate even higher outputs for the next Type R. Watch this space.