New 2017 Honda Civic Type R revs up in Paris show

Honda Civic Type R 2017 concept – Paris front quarter

Honda will be drawing in the crowds at this week’s Paris Motor Show with an all-new Civic Type R. The new Type R show car is a close-to-production preview of what the next generation of Honda’s Civic hot hatch will look like when it goes on sale in 2017. It’s based on the all-new Honda Civic hatchback that is also making its debut at the show.

Principal designer Daisuke Tsutamori told Auto Express that “it pursues the ultimate function – that’s why we made it to that design. You can expect that the car you see on the stand will be close to the car we will see on the road.”

Honda will attempt to broaden the appeal of the hot hatch upon launch with a more subtle and mature design approach replacing the current model’s divisive, extreme look. The large rear wing remains, but a softer front bumper and back diffuser mean it’s not at outlandish as the current road car. Smoked lenses and new bumper designs give it a more agressive look than the standard hatch.

Prototypes have also been spied undergoing performance testing at the Nurburgring race track in Germany with the large rear wing fitted, and despite previous reports that this won’t appear on the production model, it will indeed get this “functional” unit. “The purpose of this model will be to fight for the record,” Tsutamori told us.

Honda Civic Type R 2017 concept – Paris side

Trademark Civic Type R design cues such as the red bumper detailing, flared wheelarches and oversized air intakes do remain, but the styling is restrained in comparison with the current model.

Engineers will also turn their attention to the powertrain. Auto Express understands the car will be powered by a tuned version of the current 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo. Current performance figures of 306bhp and 400Nm of torque are expected to increase to around 340bhp and 450Nm. The official 0-62mph time could drop to around five seconds – seven-tenths of a second quicker than today’s model.

Honda Civic Type R 2017 concept – Paris rear quarter

Despite the huge reserves of power, it’s also believed Honda will stick with front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual gearbox. This means the new Type R should move clear of the limited-run, two-seater Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S to become the world’s most powerful front-drive hot hatch – and Honda will try to reclaim the front-wheel-drive Nurburgring lap record from its rival. 

The more traditional bodyshape will also mean a boost in practicality for the Civic. The new Type R will be around 30mm wider, 20mm lower and 130mm longer than at present. It will be built at the Honda facility in Swindon, Wiltshire, alongside the standard hatchback, with production starting in the second half of next year.

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