Honda Civic SportHonda has launched a new entry-level Civic 1.4-litre Sport variant that, in combination with a low-rate PCP finance deal, brings Type R hot hatch kudos to the mainstream.

The new 100hp 1.4-litre Sport variant may not have the power of the monster Type R, not does it quite have the fuel economy of downsized rivals (still averages 51.4mpg, mind), but a 5.9% APR three-year PCP has allowed Honda to craft a £199 per month finance package for it.

The £18,360 1.4 Sport requires a £3,415 deposit and thus, says Honda UK MD Philip Crossman, “makes the more aggressively styled version of our poplar family hatchback more accessible”.

Boasting black 17-inch alloys, colour-coded rear spoiler, lower grille mesh and, inside, a black rooflining, the Sport is a fairly convincing Type R lite: if you do want a bit more go, it’s also available as a 142hp 1.8-litre or, for turbo fizz without the fuel bills, a 120hp 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel.

Of course, Honda’s already announced the all-new Civic is due early in 2017, meaning the current model is very much on borrowed time. It’s thus (belatedly) rationalised and simplified the line-up to make this Sport variant the entry-level model, with SE and SR trims sitting above it.

The 1.4-litre Sport goes on sale next month.

Oh, and if you do still really hanker for a Type R, there’s a PCP deal on offer for that too: £319 a month for both regular and GT models, with the same 5.9% APR rate. The deposit, and running costs, will be a little higher though…

Want a new car for £5 a day? See what’s on offer this spring from Britain’s new car dealers