Honda will showcase the latest Civic Type R Concept at the Paris Motor Show 2014 – but will still not confirm final power figures, simply saying the production version will boast more than 280hp from its high-revving 2.0-litre turbo engine.
However, as Honda does go one further and say the new engine “sets new benchmarks on power, torque and engine response”, it seems likely the new Civic Type R is set to produce at least 300hp, thus easing it well clear of front-wheel drive hot hatch rivals such as the Renaultsport Megane 275 Trophy-R and SEAT Leon Cupra R. As the Civic is after their Nurburgring Nordschleife lap record, such potency will be vital.
Although the new engine won’t rev quite as high as the old VTEC motors, a redline at 7,000rpm is impressive for a turbo motor; Honda promises it still delivers the high-end performance VTEC fans love. This time though, it will also give them something they’ve never had before – low-rev torque.
Honda has outlined other technical development boasted by the new Civic Type R. All models will have an all-round Adaptive Damper System, auto-adjusting stiffness according to inputs. The driver can stiffen it via a new +R button on the dash, which also crisps up engine response via a more aggressive torque map, adds weight to the steering and, we assume, will also change the colour of the dials.
“The difference in character is immense,” said Suehiro Hasshi, large project leader for Civic Type R at Honda R&D. “The ‘+R’ mode is extreme; the car is ideal for the track and will be appreciated by the genuine sports-driving enthusiast.”
If all this promised torque going through the front wheels has you worried, Honda has some reassurance: it’s fitted ‘steer axis’ front suspension, which has two supporting kingpins to minimise torque steer.
Honda Civic Type R Concept: French blue
For the Paris Motor Show 2014, the Civic Type R Concept has had a respray, from red to blue. The new hue shows off the car’s red detailing on its bumpers and wheels, and the carbon-look lower body kit blends in with the bespoke flared front and rear wheelarches.
It’s gained an interesting graphics pack for the bodywork, but keeps the same gigantic rear wing and ultra-aggressive four-exhaust rear diffuser of the previous concept. Subtle it is not.
This latest Civic Type R Concept has the mild front end facelift other 2015 Civics will boast; they will be shown alongside the new concept at the Paris Motor Show 2014, and Motoring Research will be there to bring you all the news in full.