The Wraps Finally Come Off Honda’s Civic Type R

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At the Paris auto show last Thursday, Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC) unveiled the company’s new Civic Type R prototype ahead of its debut at the Las Vegas SEMA auto show next month. The Type R is the first-ever Honda-badged Type R to be introduced into the United States.

The company did not reveal the car’s powertrain specs, but according to Jalopnik, it may produce up to 340 hp using the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine in current models of the car that are sold elsewhere. The five-door hatchback will be built at Honda’s Swindon plant in the U.K. and delivered globally from there.

No word about price or delivery schedules for the U.S. version yet, but European deliveries are expected to begin in the second half of next year.

An American Honda Motor Co. executive said:

We promised the most ambitious, sportiest Civic lineup ever and we’re delivering on that promise with each new Civic. For the first time ever in America, Honda fans and enthusiasts will have access to the ultimate in Civic performance in the form of the new Type R.

The press announcement goes on:

Based on the low and wide proportion of the new Civic Hatchback, the Civic Type R Prototype is enhanced by muscular body styling and modifications to aid aerodynamic performance. The exterior is wrapped in a highly reflective, finely-grained brushed aluminum-effect finish, which is unique to the prototype car. At the front, the aggressive fascia is accentuated with a winged carbon fiber splitter and sporty red accent line. Additional slatted ducts add width to the fascia, and diamond-mesh inserts fill the sculpted air intakes.

Honda is almost certainly trying to jazz up its Civic lineup which, despite good sales, has not been a critical success according to Car and Driver magazine. Turning the Type R loose in the United States could give the brand a boost with car enthusiasts and generate some excitement in a model that has become too conservative. Vroom!