Honda Civic Type R - The last non-hybrid hot hatch from Honda?

2024-05-17
Honda Civic Type R - The last non-hybrid hot hatch from Honda? banner

John Blair Automotive    30th March 2023

Last of a legend? Honda's Civic Type R could go hybrid in the next generation, we think.

Could the Honda Civic Type R go hybrid? It has not been ruled out for the next generation model, according to Ko Yamamoto, technical advisor for Honda Motor Europe.

“I wouldn’t exclude electrification,” he said.

Honda has already gone with the electrification of some of its other models - like the HR-V which is on sale now, and the CR-V also. But Yamamoto did not confirm that the future Civic Type R would use this platform.

With the brand set to launch a range of new EVs from this year as it pushes forward with its plan to phase out combustion engines, it’s reasonable to expect that the 2022 Civic Type R will be the last non-electrified version of the brand’s popular hot hatch.

In fact, looking at rival cars, electrification for the Type R is highly likely if not a certainty. However, all-wheel drive seems to be out of the question for any future Type R which is how some manufacturers are going when they introduce hybrid power.

For now, the car continues with its front-wheel drive layout. Under the vented bonnet of the ‘FL5’ Type R is a 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four cylinder engine – an evolution of the unit powering the previous-generation ‘FK8’ Type R, itself a reworked version of the ‘FK2’ Type R’s powerplant. There’s a new turbocharger with a compact housing and a revised turbine blade, which makes for better airflow and thus more power.

The 235kW/420Nm output makes its way to the front wheels via a revised six-speed manual transmission – featuring a new lever and an “optimised” gate pattern – and most likely a mechanical limited-slip differential. The latter is another detail Honda is omitting at this stage, and information about the suspension is also thin on the ground.

Inside, there’s the same minimalistic cabin as the standard Civic, enhanced with various elements including suede-wrapped sports seats that sit the driver lower than in the last Civic Type R, a whole lot of red stitching, a suede-rimmed steering wheel and a Type R plaque on the dashboard.

From behind the wheel, drivers will be able to alter the characteristics of the engine, steering, adaptive dampers and engine sound via the following modes – Comfort, Sport, +R and Individual. There’s also an updated version of the Honda LogR data logger system which now gives information like tyre friction circles and can even score drivers on their track performance.

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