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UPDATE: Press release, hi-res photo gallery added

The 'R' in Type-R stands for 'racing,' so the deciders for Formula 1 thought it best to name the Civic Type-R Prototype as the official vehicle for this week's Japan Grand Prix. The four-door prototype has been given the go ahead for production and will likely hit dealers in its home country in late 2007. The overall shape bears significant resemblance to the current Civic sold stateside, however a revised front and rear fascia give the JDM Civic a bit more flow, when compared to its angular sibling abroad. Motivation will come in the form of a 2-liter, inline-four, producing upwards of 220 HP and sending power through a six-speed manual.

The race, to be held at the world-famous Suzuka Circuit in the Mie Prefecture, is the second to last race of the season and may prove to be one of the most entertaining races of the year. With a course rife with passing opportunities and the two leaders, Schumacher and Alonso, running neck-and-neck in points, we've already planned our Sunday around the race and even if you're not into F1, this may be the race to see.

(Photo gallery, press release after the jump)

[Source: Honda]


GALLERY:
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PRESS RELEASE:
Civic Type R Prototype Named Official Car For 2006 F1 Japan Grand Prix

October 3, 2006 -- Honda Motor Co., Ltd., today announced that the prototype 4-door Civic Type R, the sports version of the Honda Civic, has been selected as the official car for the 2006 F1 Japan Grand Prix, to be held at the Suzuka Circuit in Mie prefecture, Japan, october 6-8, 2006. A production model, currently under development, is scheduled for release in japan in spring 2007.

The 4-door Civic Type R prototype, fitted with a 2.0L DOHC i-VTEC engine with an output of 220PS and a specially tuned sport suspension, delivers exhilirating driving performance in keepting with its bold, dynamic styling.

In addition to serving as the official car (red flag car) for the F1 Japan Grand Priz, the Civic R prototype will also be on display at Honda's exhibit at Suzuka Circuit.

Civic Type R Prototype (4-door) Specifications
Engine: 2.0L DOHC i-VTEC
Output: over 220PS
Dimensions (L x W x H): 4,540 x 1,771, x 1,425mm