Previewing what will be the hottest member of its global Civic lineup, the Honda Civic Type-R Concept took center stage on the automaker's stand in Geneva. Although its high-profile visuals are likely a bit beyond what we'll see in the production model that goes on sale in Europe next year, the volume-build Type R will match decidedly aggressive bodywork with track-ready suspension and powertrain elements. It's a focused combination that Honda believes will help this 5-door road rager become the fastest front-drive vehicle ever to lap Germany's famed Nurburgring racing circuit.
Referred to by its Chief Stylist, Masaru Hasegawa, as "a racing car for the road rather than a high performance version of a road car," the Civic Type-R Concept expands the overall go-fast envelope further than any previous Type-R exercise. Penned in Europe at Honda's R&D Center in Swindon, England, the car's exterior reflects lessons learned both in the wind tunnel and from testing prototype models on the 'Ring itself. Everything from its deep front spoiler framed by vertical side wings to a highly efficient double-element rear wing and performance diffuser that houses dual-paired exhaust outlets has a distinct purpose on the Type-R Concept. That same goal of optimizing high-velocity functionality can be seen in elements like its larger front air intakes, wider fenders that accommodate a 20-inch wheel/tire package and functional cooling ducts on the hood and behind the front and rear wheels.
Like all other new Honda models, the Type-R Concept and its production offshoot will be fitted with one of the firm's new Earth Dreams engines. In this case, it's a highly sophisticated, direct-injected 2.0-liter 4-cylinder VTEC Turbo that Honda promises it will make at least 276 horsepower - and possibly closer to 300 ponies - while still meeting upcoming Euro 6 emissions regs. Driving the front wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission, the engine is expected to send the production Type-R streaking from 0-60 mph in less than 6.0 seconds.
Sadly, there are still no plans to bring the new Civic Type-R model to America. However, U.S. Honda sources have indicated that there could still be some interesting developments ahead for the performance-oriented Civic Si model that is sold here.
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