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Breaking News: Civic Type R destined for United States not based on Euro-Spec

What you see is not always what you get in the world of automotive performance. Such is the case with the much sought after high performance Civic Type R.

According to our Honda sources: The Euro-Spec Civic Type R performance Hot-Hatch being released to the European market in early Summer 2015, is not the same vehicle platform destined for North America.

Although manufactured and imported from the UK, the EPA safety compliant North American Type R will share platforms with the designed and built in Canada 2016 Civic Concept “World-Car” platform, as revealed to the automotive press at NYIAS on Wednesday.

This announcement raises an interesting question as to driveline specifications, engine horsepower, torque and speed-performance specifications. Throw out what you’ve read of the European-Spec Civic Type R. Apples to oranges, the mechanical and performance specs won’t apply to North American applications.

What we do know is that North American Civic buyers will be afforded the choice of 3 body designs, including the first 5 door Civic hatchback variant to arrive on our shores in the history of Honda. This raises an interesting question or two as to the direction of Honda street performance.

Honda announces North American designed and manufactured EarthDreams ™ turbocharged engine technology. Why not performance all-wheel drive?

While 2016(or 2017) Civic Type R when released, will be Honda’s most advanced front-wheel-drive hot-hatch to date. Waiting on shore to meet Type R is Ford, Subaru and Volkswagen; all hot-hatch contenders with a measurable difference, they’re all-wheel-drive.

2015 is “The Year of Honda,” and arguably Honda and Acura Division is shaking up the automotive world with an unprecedented revamping of it’s entire car and light truck lineup. As announced Wednesday by Honda’s John Mendel, Honda’s North American lineup has been completely upgraded, updated and re-powered over the past 24 months. Torque News finds the forward momentum of Honda Motors evolution to be unprecedented in this millenium and merits recognition and applause.

2016 Civic Type R for North America, designed in the U.S., built for the world

Here’s the thing: With the unveiling of what is arguable the most visually stunning Civic Concept destined for North America in a decade, Mendel teased the auto press “Let’s do it,” with a hint as to the “possible” import of the U.K. manufactured Civic Type R. Turns out that that’s just a very small piece to the puzzle.

However, in true Honda PR fashion, stopped short of sharing the arrival date, price point or mechanical specifications of the U.S. EPA compliant Type R. Torque News doesn’t anticipate Type R details forthcoming in the short-term as expectation grows “Honda Style” in the U.S. and Canada.

FWD Vs AWD, and the winner is…

For us, the performance drivetrain choice remains a mystery: Why Honda choses not to specify SH-AWD, P-AWS or AWD in a North American performance hatchback or Civic Si-like sedan is beyond us.

In a performance segment dominated by all-wheel drive, low center of gravity and WRX drift masters, Honda sticks to its sport-modified front-wheel drive performance lineup. Granted, Honda engineering has measurably reduced torque-steer through chassis engineering in all performance offerings. However, it’s still there and quite evident in this car.

Honda competitive drivers work around torque-steer on the track every weekend. In driving Acura’s TLX, we discovered, they shouldn’t have to.

When the U.S. designed “World-Car” platformed, built in the UK Civic Type R reaches North American shores, it will be greeted by the all-wheel-drive Ford Focus RS, Subaru WRX-STI and the Volkswagen Golf R; All serious contenders in the under $50,000 hot-hatch performance title; some, way under.

Crunching the $ numbers

The North American 2016 Honda Civic Type R will(possibly)be the highest priced Honda car in the lineup. Granted, it’s as close as one will come to an out of the box race-spec Honda Civic. looking to the Euro-Spec 2015 Honda Civic Type-R, we discover a 340+ horsepower turbocharged 2.0 liter i-VTEC, with race track harshness and true British spirit sports car enthusiasm.

North American buyers most likely won’t see Euro-Type R performance due to EPA, emissions, safety mandates and crash test viability. However, it should be close.

Current Euro-Spec Civic Type R Price tag? $44,742.30 U.S.+ with an emphasis put on “out of the box, factory-spec, street legal road burner. With full tech and active safety features the Euro-Spec 2015 Honda Civic Type R will approach $49,665 U.S., over the top for most compact performance “Hot-Hatch” contenders.

Don’t cry for Honda, they know what they're up against

Building a Civic Type R on the designed in North America 2016 Civic Concept and assembled in Swindon, England will produce a Civic Type R priced to North American markets.

With the 2.3 L EcoBoost powered 315 horsepower all-wheel-drive Ford Focus R “World-Car” positioned for U.S. import in 2016, Type R will have some measurable competition in place prior to its release date, sometime in 2016. Add to the growing field of all-wheel-drive, tech-rich, high performance Euro and Asian-Hot-Hatch based competition, the much anticipated next generation Subaru WRX-STI Hatchback and the highly anticipated, Volkswagen Golf 400 R.

Honda may encounter a bit of an uphill battle when entering the relatively low volume specialty sales market of high-end-performance pocket rockets. It’s going to come down to pricing and standard featured performance. But then again, Civic Type R, while not based on the 2015 Euro-Spec edition, will be the hottest Honda-Hatch available to North American Civic enthusiasts, 10 million strong and growing. At any measure, exciting news for Honda aficionados.


Reg Judson (not verified)    April 4, 2015 - 9:22PM

I presently own and enjoy a Civic Si 2012 and gave some thought to trading up to a 2014 or 2015 until I
saw the tragic damage done by a design team obviously smoking something stronger than tea. What a double-ugly mess they made of the previously beautiful 2012-2013 Si Coupe. Can't wait to see if they settle back down and produce a better looking Type R or equiv. for our North American market. My Si is one of the sweetest manual shifters I've ever driven but a few more horses in an R-Type can't hurt as long as one doesn't have to look at a wrist watch or a calender waiting for the turbo to finally spool up???

Parks McCants    April 5, 2015 - 12:37AM

In reply to by Reg Judson (not verified)

Welcome Reg. Honda changed the body design of the 2012 Civic due to low sales numbers. I agree with you. I've viewed several custom 2011, 2012 Civic Si s and like the look! We'll see where Honda goes with Type R. Take a look at the 2016 Civic Concept shown in New York. This will be the base platform for the near future North American Civic Type R. Take care and safe driving.

Parks McCants    September 10, 2015 - 5:21PM

In reply to by Jmac91 (not verified)

What's up Jmac91? Are you referring to body style, mechanical issues, interior design, or... We know that the 2013 Body design was not popular, thus the major refresh in 2014. however, I've viewed a handful of 2013 s that I wouldn't roll off the the crusher. Thanks.

Jmac91 (not verified)    September 10, 2015 - 9:26PM

In reply to by Parks McCants

I'd say everything in the 12-13 is a step below. Less horsepower, very standard body design (Honda looks like they barley tried to go after an aggressive look), and of course an extremely cheap feeling interior compared to the 14-15. The 14-15 Si interior makes it seem like the car is in the 30,000 price range rather than the 24,000. Touchscreen, backup cam, two tone seats, soft touch material. It does not feel like a modest car.

Taskmaster (not verified)    October 13, 2015 - 6:00PM

In reply to by Reg Judson (not verified)

I have a 2015 si coupe and I get compliments on this car almost daily. True, I don't care to much for the new 9th gen designs of the other civic versions, but the Si models are by far the best looking. It was this model that actually made my want a civic again. My only gripe is the wheel gap, but that's it.

cbas (not verified)    April 8, 2015 - 8:14PM

Well I just recently bought a new 2015 Honda civic si and clearly I like the new model of the 2016 Honda civic si they showed in new yorks concept show. But with the type-r which is going to come in at double the price of what we now pay for the civic si I don't think I would be too big of a jump. I can just go get a turbo and change the head on my car and make it just as fast lol.

Well with that said I know that no one knows what price ranges will be on the new 2016 civic but I can almost be sure that the 2015 civic si was around the 25k mark well with the new features and all that the new 2016 civic si is probably going to go more towards a 35k price range that is going to be with a 1.5l turbo charged car that is going to push the same amount of power we have now in our civics just it will have better fuel economie.

Now I don't know if im even close to what the next gen civic si will cost but im thinking it will be in the mid 30k more towards 35 - 37 k for the new 2016 civic si . Every time a new gen civic comes up the price is bumped for the first 2 or 3 years then it goes down in the 20 - 25 k prices.

JeffS (not verified)    May 13, 2015 - 8:03AM

In reply to by cbas (not verified)

Hi cbas. I have a '14 SI coupe and love it. Other than the front being a mite overdone, I see the design as handsome and yes a bit, "Boy racer". I just do not see the, "being hit with the ugly stick" comments. Just goes to show we all see through different eyes. I doubt if the 1.5 Turbo, rated at about the same as our 2.4 is going to be used in the new SI. I think that motor is being reserved for the upper end, "pedestrian" model Civics and other cars, SUVs offered.My guess is that the SI will pack more HP and torque than our model. Maybe a massaged version of the 2.4, the 1.5 on steroids or a tuned down version of the Type R mill, probably about 250 HP, (all speculation). While the Type R is sure to cost some serious coin, I think the SI will be, "Bargained priced". Somewhere along the line of the FRS/BRZ twins, that is to say 27 to 30ish thousand. I can't believe Honda will shoot itself in the foot by over pricing it. My guess, it's gonna be a bargain, like ours.By the way, you are correct, with minimal investment, (1500.00 or so), the current SI can be bumped up a notch in performance. I wouldn't call the SI a slouch out of the box by any means, as you know it's got enough grunt and handling to put a smile on your face and have you grinning, it's allot of car for the money, just plain fun. That's what Honda's SIs have always been about, (I had a 1st gen CRX SI, another grin inducer), a fun, affordable, economical, bullet proof car that retains its value better than most. No reason to believe the next SI will any different in those regards. Be Well.

JeffS (not verified)    May 13, 2015 - 2:34PM

In reply to by Parks McCants

Let me take a moment to polish the apple; I hope your readers, (and the followers of Torque in general) appreciate the opportunity to get some, "personal" attention from Motor Heads with an inside track to the industry. I personally would like to, "Thank-you" for welcoming me into the, "Family". It feeds my enthusiasm and a GREAT distraction from the day to day. You are a, "Gentleman" sir and appreciate your consideration more than you realize. Be Well & keep writing, All Best.

Some Dude (not verified)    May 13, 2016 - 2:19PM

Having looked at the 2015-2016 Civics on offer in So Cal, my wife and I decided to go with a Fit instead. Just don't like the look at the Civics. Honda appears to really have lost its way on design of Accords and Civics. In terms of 'hot hatch' looks, the Fit is far better looking. The Fit is no rally car for sure, but perhaps Honda could consider a sport version of the Fit in the future. That would be a popular car if it had the performance of a hot hatch.

Mr.banxton (not verified)    June 2, 2016 - 12:26PM

I agree with the 2014-15 civic si being attractive.

In the first 2 days of ownership I was walked up to by older Honda guys impressed by the progress Honda's made over the years, had people yelling "DUDE I love your car" on the highway, constantly had little children and car enthusiasts alike walking past breaking their necks while parked (took some getting used to admittedly) and passively hit on by women (who says cars don't get girls.Lol)

But I will say that the wheel gap (as stated above) was an obvious draw back, and I can't for the life of me fathom why Honda would make a civic (an si for that Matter) look like a rally car when they did so good stancing the 8th gen to have to pay more money to fix something that should have never been done but it was going to get modified's a civic.Lol but other than that and the complete absence of torque below 3k rpm and lack of power short of 3rd gear I love it interior and all #15civicsi

Car Dog (not verified)    October 27, 2016 - 2:03PM

I owned a 2012 Civic SI and I enjoyed it and I thought the car was a smoother looking car but 1800 for the body kit was a bit pricy even though I paid it looked great .. But when I got my 2014 WOW what a difference and the body kit was 800 bucks ... I loved this car and miss it dearly ... From what I understand Honda is not releasing a 2016 SI because of the type R coming out... I just pray that they do a better job on it then they did on the 2016 civic HOLLY crap that is a awful design it looks like a mini cross tour which sold like crap and was discontinued due to horrible sales numbers... who ever designed the cross tour should have been run out of the car industry and not allow to be with in 100 miles of the design table when the civic was designed .... So I would think it was a great idea for them not to try and make a SI in that body style because they will grow old waiting for a blind monkey to buy one... Liked the 2012 and loved the 2014 but the 2016 fell out of a ugly tree and hit every branch on the way to the ground.....