Honda is celebrating the start of production for the new Civic Type R.
The high-performance hatchback began rolling off the assembly line at the company’s European production hub in Swindon, UK. The plant will eventually export the Type R globally, however availability will initially be exclusive to the Old Continent.
The first three models to leave the facility were clad in a patriotic red, white and blue exterior paint to match the Union Jack.
The theme could also be an appropriate reference to Stars & Stripes, as the Type R’s highlight component — its engine — is built in America at Honda’s Anna Engine Plant in Ohio. The Japanese automaker released a promotional video showing production clips for the “Built for Europe – Made in America” powerplant.
The new 2.0-liter VTEC Turbo mill delivers 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, peaking at 6,500 rpm with a 7,000-rpm redline. Output has increased significantly from the previous Type R, which delivered just under 200 ponies.
Unofficial reports suggest Honda is preparing to bring its European-market Civic to the US. If true, a Type R variant could follow as a new flagship to slot above the Civic Si offerings and rival the Ford Focus RS.