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Mike Stevens | Nov 24, 2008

It’s always a little odd that some car makers sell certain models under their own badge in overseas markets, but not in their own. Sure, it isn’t unusual, it happens often enough, and there may be more than enough good marketing reasons to justify it.

Nonetheless, it’s strange that a hero car like the Honda Civic Type R is available in two distinctly different incarnations - one hot, one very hot - but neither sharing a market with the other.

For that reason, it seems fitting that the three-door version of the Honda Civic Type R will soon be released in the brand’s homeland of Japan. Previously available only in Europe and a number of other countries outside of Japan, the Civic Type R hatch is generally perceived to be less of a genuine performance car than its Japan-market sibling.

honda-civic-type-r_02

So, will the Japanese version of the international Civic Type R hatch gain the power and technical upgrades needed to put it on par with its hot home-market sedan version? While the sedan Type R features a host of superior technology and 165kW in the power stakes, the hatch available in the West carries a less complex setup, and puts out a less compelling 148kW – the same as the outgoing model.

Unless Honda HQ is considering offering an entry-level Civic Type R, it makes good sense than the FN2 hatch setup would see an upgrade in 2009 to better meet the expectations of Japanese Type R buyers.

honda-civic-type-r_JDM_01

And of course, if that happens… will we see the same upgrades here?

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