2018 Honda Civic Type R: It’s Finally Coming to America! – The Civic’s highest-performance version, a car that has never appeared in the States except as mail-order clones built for the NOPI Nationals or as virtual versions in Gran Turismo.
WHY IT MATTERS
Honda hasn’t fielded a real performance car since it killed the S2000 roadster six years ago, and despite still-robust sales the current Civic has been a critical failure. Importing the Type R should help resurrect the brand’s credibility with enthusiasts, while adding excitement to a model that’s grown too conservative.
A new, 10th-generation Civic arrives this fall, bigger and more refined than before thanks to a platform that will be shared with the Accord. While the traditional four-door-sedan and two-door-coupe body styles continue for regular commuter-grade Civics, the Type R will be a hatchback.
Honda’s new i-VTEC 2.0-liter turbo four will send about 300 horses to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. Torque steer will be suppressed by a new front-suspension design and adaptive dampers all around.
WHAT MIGHT GO WRONG
Honda has yet to deliver even the 2015 Type R. That one is based on the current Civic but powered by the new turbo engine, and it won’t be sold in the U.S. Teething problems with the powerplant could delay the next Type R. And another lukewarm reception to a new Civic could give Honda pause about bringing the Type R stateside.
ESTIMATED ARRIVAL AND PRICE
The Type R won’t be here for at least a year after the launch of the new standard Civic, maybe more. We’re betting on an early 2017 introduction as a 2018 model, with a price tag around $30,000.