At the recent US launch of Honda’s hot hatch Civic model line chief engineer Hideki Matsumoto revealed to Automotive News that in order to maintain a constant sales volume for the halo-model the Japanese automaker has a range of variants planned.
“We’re hoping that by gradually putting out more that we’ll be able to maintain a more stable sales volume,” Matsumoto explained.
That means as initial demand for the initial 235kW/400Nm Civic Type R begins to wane, Honda will have supporting models ready to launch, the most hotly-anticipated of which is expected to be an even higher-performance track focussed model that eschews creature comfort and boosts engine outputs.
Also under consideration is a less aggressive variant that Matsumoto describes as being developed around “the grand touring aspect” suggesting that while the Civic Type R’s 2.0-litre turbocharged engine would be unlikely to change in that variant, a more forgiving suspension tune and a higher level of equipment could be offered to broaden the performance model’s appeal.
An eventual all wheel drive model could also emerge putting the Civic Type R on a more level playing field with cars like the Ford Focus RS and Volkswagen Golf R, however the decision to launch as an all wheel drive model with a six-speed manual was made to continue the Type R lineage, which stretches back as far as the 1990s.
Honda has yet to make any announcement regarding an automatic version of the Type R, but with more buyers opting for the convenience of a self-shifter in performance cars, a version of the Civic Type R equipped with the recently announced 10-speed automatic from the next Accord (which will run a retuned version of the Type R’s engine) also becomes a distinct possibility.
Australian buyers will have access to the new Civic Type R from October, with a pre-order program currently in place. Honda is yet to give full details of local pricing and specifications although a starting price under $50,000 is expected.
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