• Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: Honda
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
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After showcasing numerous prototypes and concepts, Honda will finally take the wraps off the production-spec Civic Type R hot hatch at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show in March.

Honda is bent on kicking butt and taking names with its upcoming new Civic Type R, but since the Japanese hot hatch is based on the European model and isn't slated to come to the United States, it's been of little consolation to American enthusiasts. But if you're one of them, we've got good news for you.

Most of us would probably deliberate pretty carefully before buying a new car – do a little research, read the reviews, take it for a test drive, compare it to the competition. But that's not everyone. Some buyers will order a new car sight unseen. Some will even place their order – for a performance model especially – before the production model is even revealed. And those buyers in the UK have been flocking to Honda for not one, but two upcoming new products.

Never mind what the executives say – we've had a sneaking suspicion all along that the upcoming Honda Civic Type R won't be coming to North America. And with good reason: both the prototype we drove in Japan and the concept unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show last week were based on the European-spec Civic hatchback – not to mention that some of the best hot hatches remain out of our reach.

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.

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