Honda Civic Type R hatchback - Click above for high-res image gallery
One thing Honda fans in other countries have long had access to is the automaker's series of high end Type-R models. Unfortunately, here in the States, we've never been able to get Type-Rs, and that's a real shame. Currently in Japan, Honda is only offering the Civic Type-R as a sedan. However, early next year Japanese drivers will be able to get their mitts on the latest Type-R edition of the Honda Civic in three door hatchback form – but it won't be coming from a Japanese factory. Instead, the right-hand-drive 201 hp Civic will be arriving by boat from Swindon, England, which is the only Honda facility currently building the three-door hot hatch.
The Type-R gets a 2.0-liter i-VTEC four cylinder powerplant with a 7,800 rpm power peak and six-speed gearbox. Honda rates the 0-62 mph acceleration at 6.6 seconds with a 146 mile per hour terminal velocity. Inside, the front occupants are ensconced in some serious sport seats bolstered in Alcantara suede. Yes, we're jealous.
Related GalleryHonda Civic Type-R
European Manufactured Civic Type R to be Sold in Japan
The British-built Civic Type R will be exported to Japan from next year. The acclaimed 3-door hot hatch, manufactured at Honda's factory in Swindon, England, is to be shipped to Japan where it will go on sale during 2010.
The model will be called the Type R EURO, to distinguish it from the Japanese-market 4-door Civic Type R saloon, and will be sold in limited numbers.
Japan is the third country outside Europe to import this high-revving hot hatch with the red 'H' badge, following Australia and South Africa. The demand for the European-produced car in Honda's domestic market is testament to the dedication and skill of Associates at Honda's largest European factory - the only production facility in the world that builds the Civic Type R 3-door.
Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) also builds the 5-door Civic, Civic Type S and CR-V for Europe and will start production of the Jazz, this Autumn.
Japan also imported the previous Swindon-built Civic Type-R (EP3 model) in 2001.