Honda may call it a prototype, but you’re actually looking at the upcoming Civic Type R in, if not all, 99 percent of its might.
Seen for the first time at the 2016 Paris Auto Show, this stunning looking machine previews the Japanese car maker’s hatchback missile that’s scheduled for a European launch in the second half of 2017. It won’t stay exclusive to the old continent, though, as it will complete the comprehensive Civic line-up in North America along with the Civic Si from next year as well.
The Civic Type R Prototype looks closer to a race car for the road than to the vehicle that spawned it. Sure, the standard model’s design is still distinguishable, although buried under a pile of Nurburgring-bred muscle, and carbon fiber bits and pieces.
There’s a lot happening on every square inch of the car’s body, and the overall design could be overwhelming for some, but this is Honda’s way of hinting (although not subtly) that the car means business.
Sadly, the Japanese car maker didn’t offer any details about the vehicle’s powertrain, but rumors suggest that it will use an upgraded variant of the familiar 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged VTEC engine, currently found under the outgoing model’s hood. So, more than 306hp and 400Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque are expected.
“Type R epitomises Honda’s racing DNA, our challenging spirit and the highest levels of performance engineering. Coming to Europe during the second half of 2017, we’re now set to embark on the next chapter of the ‘race car for the road’,” Senior Vice President Philip Ross said.