Honda says the 2023 Civic Type R will be the most powerful one it's ever built.
The automaker claims the car has set a track record at Japan's Suzuka circuit, has been tested around the Nurburgring in Germany, and has a wing suitably large to turn even the sedate 11th-gen Civic into a Fast and Furious machine. But just how much power will the new Civic Type R make? You're going to have to wait to find out.
You'd be right to be concerned about the Civic Type R's power output. After all, the latest version of the second-hottest Civic, the Si, made five hp fewer than the model it replaced.
Instead, get ready for what Honda is calling "an even more powerful and responsive version" of the 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder that powered the previous Civic Type R. In that car, which bowed out in 2021, the little engine that could made 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. So expect the 2023 to make at least 307.
We can tell you the engine bay looks stunning. Honda has gone big on carbon fibre under the hood, or at least what looks like carbon fibre. Offered only with a six-speed manual transmission, Honda says it's been improved with a revised auto rev-matching system.
Chunky fender flares wrap lightweight wheels and wider tires. Honda's photos show Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber in 265/30R19 size, which is an interesting choice. The rubber is 20 mm (0.8 in) wider than before, but 19-inch wheels replace 20s on the outgoing car. 19s were a common aftermarket swap, offering a wider selection of performance and track day tires.
A new honeycomb grille is more aggressive, while new side intake opening trim and side skirts help complete the look. A large vent on the hood lets air flow out, and you'll find a new rear diffuser that holds a trio of tailpipes. Unlike the last car, the centre pipe is larger than the other two. Since the small centre pipe on the old Type R was a decision made for function and not form, we'll trust Honda's engineers on this one, too.
Aside from that rear wing, the overall effect doesn't really stand out from the standard Civic hatchback it's based on. But the big gloss black wing is impossible to miss. Mounted to the bottom of the car's hatch, it looks aggressive enough to play a serious part in the car's aerodynamic performance.
Inside, the 2023 Type R gets Honda's signature extremely red cabin. Red carpet, red suede-like seats, and red stitching everywhere. The sports seats are meant to hold you in place, while the serialized Type R plate on the dash is just there to make you feel special.
There will be a new +R drive mode that includes a special gauge display with rpm, shift lights, and gear indicator, along with customizable vehicle info. Honda data logging gives you real-time telemetry on vehicle behaviour and will let you record lap times and share video.
On the drive mode customization screen, Honda displays the dampers as well as the exhaust system. That leads us to believe that they will be adaptive dampers and that the car will have an adjustable exhaust note.
Yes, that's a bit short on mechanical details, but Honda says we'll need to wait for more until closer to the fall. Expect pricing then as well.