Under that NACA duct on the hood is a 2.0-liter, DOHC, direct-injected, turbocharged, i-VTEC inline-four that makes 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. (Random thought: If this car was released in the 1980s, every one of those engine features would be emblazoned in decal form on the rockers. The script would have to be tiny!) Since that engine packs a turbo, the torque band is relatively low and flat: peak torque is available from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm. While the setup is new to Americans, it's fairly similar to the last-gen Euro-spec Civic Type R.
Based on the gauges seen in the pictures, redline appears to be 7,000 RPM, so unlike the peaky naturally aspirated Type Rs of yore you won't have to wind it up into the stratosphere to make power. That's probably a good thing for around-town driving, and in every other situation it'll depend on your perspective and preferences.
There's one very important thing to mention that the Civic Type R won't have: an automatic. This sucker's manual-only, and that unit is a six-speed job. Honda is including rev matching for when you don't want to blip for yourself, but the shifting will be a do-it-yourself operation.
As far as handling is concerned, the Civic Type R combines the Dual-Axis strut setup from the last Type R (which reduces torque steer and improves handling), adaptive struts, and a tweaked electric power steering rack with variable assist. It wears 20-inch wheels shod with 20-inch Continental ContiSportContact 6 tires, and stops using Brembo four-pot front rotors, 13.8-inch cross-drilled front rotors, and 12-inch rear rotors. Torsional rigidity is up, and weight is down slightly compared to a base 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback – 15 pounds, which isn't shabby considering the turbo and plumbing add a not-insignificant amount of weight.
Current sporty vehicle tastes require selectable driving modes, so the Civic adopts them. There's Comfort, Sport (which is the default setting), and +R, which affect steering response, throttle mapping, rev-matching settings, suspension settings, and stability control intervention.
The only available trim is Touring, so the Civic Type R comes standard with a seven-inch touchscreen, nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 540-watt sound system. The sport seats are standard, as is the leather-wrapped steering wheel, the leather shift boot, the aluminum shift knob and pedal set, and all the red accents you could possibly want in your most JDM dreams.
While the new Civic Type R will be sold in the US, it'll be built in Honda's Swindon plant in the UK and imported. That'll be familiar to real Honda geeks as the source of the old EP3-generation Civic Si hatchback of the early 2000s. Honda won't get too specific about pricing at this point, but expect an MSRP in the mid-$30,000 range. The Civic Type R will make its American debut at the New York Auto Show in April, which is probably very close to when it'll be available at dealers. We expect to see the car's American exterior (expect very minor changes) and finalized pricing and equipment then.