A war is coming. It's been brewing for some time between the top-performing hot hatches, and will be determined by the ultimate bragging rights: the lap record at the Nürburgring for front-drive cars. Renault claimed it and reclaimed it again with successive versions of the Megane RS, then Seat took it by some margin with the new Leon Cupra. But this could take it from both.

It's the new Honda Civic Type R – or at least a conceptual preview of the one to follow. We drove an early prototype of the forthcoming Japanese hot hatch while in town for the Tokyo Motor Show a few months ago, where Honda made no secret of its Eiffel-bound aspirations. Now it has taken a big step closer with the concept you see here.

Previewing the extreme styling that will set the next Type R apart from ordinary Civics (or the European-spec hatchback on which it's based), the concept has a giant rear spoiler, enlarged grilles, hood vents and widened fenders packing both 20-inch alloys and additional air vents.

Underneath it all is the largest iteration of Honda's new turbocharged, direct-injection engine family: a 2.0-liter turbo four churning out 280 metric horsepower – 276 hp by our standards. Precisely the same output as the more powerful version of the Leon Cupra that recently set that all-important lap record, and a good 15 horses more than the Renaultsport Megane 265 Trophy that held it before. Consider the gauntlet thrown down. While you're considering that, scope out the live images in the gallery above, the stock images in the gallery below and the press release below that. There are also a couple of videos, including one with the Type R designer, to be found below the fold.

Show full PR text
'A racing car for the road' - Honda unveils the new Civic Type R Concept at Geneva Motor Show

Geneva, Switzerland, March 4, 2014 - Today sees the worldwide reveal of the Honda Civic Type R Concept model which points to the styling direction for the exterior design of the highly-anticipated production new Type R that will debut in Europe during 2015.

Described by the design team as a 'racing car for the road' rather than a high performance version of a road car, the new Type R looks set to signal a new era for the marque – with the most extreme Civic Type R yet. The sleek and aerodynamic profile reflects a car designed for performance whilst maintaining the look of a road car and the distinctive character of Type R.

The styling of the car is heavily linked to performance, with the Type R Concept clearly showing its credentials in the exterior design. Many of the styling features offer real performance benefits, in addition to aesthetics, as confirmed by feedback from prototype testing at the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany. The shape and angle of the stand-out rear spoiler, for example, has been designed to provide additional downforce, as a direct response to information gained through track testing. Additionally, the upper and lower front grilles have been enlarged and air outlets on the bonnet provide cooling for the high-output engine. The front and rear fenders have been widened to accommodate 20-inch tyres and air outlets are integrated to optimise airflow. When combined, these features deliver maximum cooling, greater grip and ultimately, optimum performance.

While further detail on performance is yet to be announced, Honda has confirmed that the forthcoming new Type R will be the first model in Europe to feature one of its brand new VTEC TURBO engines from the Earth Dreams Technology range. The two-litre, direct injection, four-cylinder turbo is expected to deliver class-leading output of at least 280PS and will be EURO 6 compliant. While turbo engines have not been seen in Honda's production cars in Europe for some time, Honda has continued to actively develop turbo technology on the race track and in other regions. Honda's successful return to WTCC in 2013, has been instrumental in gathering knowledge that has helped shape the new Type R, providing the development team with analysis and feedback on performance and styling collected from the track.

Honda is also using the 2014 Geneva Motor Show to showcase the powertrain layout of the next generation NSX, set to launch in 2015. Alongside this, Honda's next generation Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) Concept, makes its European debut at the show, with the company confirming for the first time that the production version will be on sale in Europe from early 2016.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 58 Comments
      NamorF-Pro
      • 9 Months Ago
      Honda, Bring it to the States! Thanks!
      SlowCal
      • 9 Months Ago
      May not be for me, but I think Honda nailed the design it for whom their market is. They could certainly use a little more pizzazz in their civics.
      hironak70
      • 9 Months Ago
      I want one for X-mas!
      David
      • 9 Months Ago
      The sad part is that Hondas sell poorly in Europe, so all the more reason to sell Civic hatches in North America too.
      montegod7ss
      • 9 Months Ago
      A concept of a concept, that will never happen. This is the baby brother to the new NSX that will also never happen. I expect a S2000esque concept soon, that will never happen.
      arnoneds
      • 9 Months Ago
      Cute DustBuster...next...
      normc32
      • 9 Months Ago
      Wait! Turbo-4 and direct injection fro HMC?! Did the planets just align themselves? :-D
        Karfreek
        • 9 Months Ago
        @normc32
        And 10 more HP thank your 2.0T how do they do it?
          normc32
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Karfreek
          Probably much less torque due to VTEC like in the past. But if you don't drive turbo-4's you don't know about area under the curve.
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Karfreek
          [blocked]
          Karfreek
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Karfreek
          Normc32- if you knew anything about torque, you would understand that you don't want a curve, you want flat. Also, if you knew anything about the new DI Earth Dreams engines you would know that they are being praised for their torque down low. Keep opening your mouth, you are making this too easy.
      Cumminsdad
      • 9 Months Ago
      There is a civic I would drive!
      zoom_zoom_zoom
      • 9 Months Ago
      As normc32 has personally proven. NO Jap car can even beat his Buick verano. We'll, he did admit a GTR might be able to take him.. May as we'll kill it now Honda.
        normc32
        • 9 Months Ago
        @zoom_zoom_zoom
        230-240 lb-ft of torque is not going to scare anyone even at 3,000 lbs.
          • 9 Months Ago
          @normc32
          [blocked]
      ChrisH
      • 9 Months Ago
      I would so drive a Civic if the cars looked anything like that here.
      Michael
      • 9 Months Ago
      Honda lost real appeal long ago- 1st by getting piggy (overweight), then by choosing the cheapest route to everything else. I used to be there #1 fan, sadly I think they're gone forever.
      ROLO
      • 9 Months Ago
      looks fun nothing we will see in states its only "good enough" for europe and japan for some stupid reason with the insane culture of civic owners slowly turning away in the us. They missed the boat we will only get a dumbed down version of it.
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