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Parks McCants's picture

What the future holds for Honda Civic Type-R in the United States

Now that Civic Type-R buzz has died down a bit, let’s get real. What does the future hold for Civic Type-R in the United States?
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Here at Honda-Torque News, Civic Type-R dominated our news feed for the better part of 3 years. Infact, Civic type-R is by far the #1 read Honda article of the past 4 years, as American Honda Motor Company reinvented the North America lineup.

It’s been an exciting four years as we’ve reported on the the launch of the 10th generation Honda Civic, culminating with the arrival of the manufactured in England Civic Type-R Hatchback Touring. Experiencing Civic Type-R on the track was exhilarating! But what really drove home the Civic Type-R experience for us was an extended drive to the California Redwoods, where Honda’s hot hatch turned a head or two.

Yet, there was always a nagging question hanging in the backdrop. With the realization that Civic Type-R holds a broad-demographic near universal appeal, we came to the realization that if the price was lowered a bit, and more Type-R’s were released to market, Honda could sell as many as they could build. And yes, Honda R&D has hinted to expanding the Type-R lineup. So, what does the future hold for the venerable Honda Civic Type-R?

Honda hints at an entry trim-level Civic Type-R. But why do it?

Late last year after the initial launch, and the second wave of Civic Type-R production, there was talk of expanding the Civic Type-R lineup to a lower priced entry-level Civic Type-R Hatchback. We also reported on the interview of a Tokyo based Honda engineer that didn’t dismiss the possibility of an all-wheel-drive Civic Type-R. After all, Honda does produce a handful of smart-handling all-wheel-drive sedans and compact CUVs, why not a Civic Type-R AWD ultimate performance hatchback? Short answer: They don’t have to.

Honda Civic Type-R is the quickest production FWD hatchback in its segment

In speaking with American Honda, Torque News learns that Civic Type-R production run #1 and #2 sold out in the United States within weeks of the initial launch. Future annual production targets for Civic Type-R hovers around 5,000 units or so. To put that number into perspective we look to the balance of the Honda Civic lineup. Well over 300,000 Civics of all trim levels will sell in 2018. Type-R is the rarest Civic and will remain so; specified as is.

What we anticipate for Civic Type-R in the near term

As you know, 2018 Honda Civic Type-R returns to market as a carryover from 2017. So, we don’t anticipate any “refresh” until model year 2019. Presently, you won’t find any advanced active safety features integrated into Civic Type-R. As much as we like the present track-ready Civic Type-R Touring, we do anticipate up-trim integration of standard featured Honda SENSING in 2019. These days, stability track, ABS, and EBS braking while appreciated, is not enough active safety. While reading feedback from our readers, we anticipate an uptick in interior fit and finish quality, and the mitigation of a handful of body trim, center stack, door, and hatch seal issues. Other than that?

We won’t see an all-wheel drive option for Civic Type-R. It doesn’t need it

As built, Honda engineers all but eliminated torque steer in Civic Type-R. Civic Type-R is track-steady, and road sticky. And, while SH-AWD could make Civic Type-R shoe-gum sticky, the components required to do so would make Civic Type-R heavier, and costlier. Honda will not sacrifice Civic Type-R's price point for greater traction. We won’t see all-wheel-drive in Civic Type-R’s future due to an increased cost in development and production.

We may see a bare-basic Civic Type-R kit for club racing

And yes, a bare-bones Civic Type-R club car kit racer would come to market at a lower MSRP. But, would most likely not be street legal. We look to 2018 SEMA Las Vegas for a clue or two as to Honda’s performance directive. Truthfully, with an MSRP of $34,100 plus destination, etc, as equipped, 2018 Honda Civic Type-R Touring is a performance bargain. After spending 2 weeks behind the wheel of Civic Type-R, I would.t want to cheapen the interior, reduce convenience, safety features, or toss out the stereo system -- there’s not that much more to it! I don’t believe Honda has any market incentive to change it!

What would you do to downtrim Civic Type-R? Leave your comments bellow.


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Comments

Honda Civic Type R changesI'd like to see: 1. Offer a wing delete option and/or :"Honda provided "spoiler plugs" to plug the holes if spoiler removed by owner or dealer. 2. Full compliment of active safety technology (e,g, cross traffic alert). 3. Heated front seats and stearing wheel (not all type r's will live in sunny CA) . .
Why would you want to remove the spoiler which provides downforce thereby creating a safer car at speed? All the other external componentd are functional as well...what don't want is all this automatic safety stuff thrown that takes the driving away from the driver and creates potential accidents bc they come on at the wrong time or you think there are going to come on and do nothing.
Add volume button to the head unit or even better by the shifter like Audi does. Higher resolution displays on the instrument panel and head unit. Have a custom drive selection to control steering, suspension, throttle response instead of only 3 pre configured drive settings.
There will be another stripped down model for 2019 called just the Type R as well as Type R Touring currently available. I don't believe they will offer a CVT but perhaps some changes to front and rear " black outs".
How about increasing the production numbers for the type R so that dealers won't feel so inclined to gouge customers with such pleasure. Making additional models of the type R using the same production capacity will only make end user pricing worse. I for one refuse to pay the 7,000 or more mark-ups for a Honda Civic, regardless of it's pedigree.
Seats are tight on the sides so some seat adjustment would work. Higher pixel quality display for sure. On mine there is a half second delay from stomping on the gas until the power fully kicks in so I'd like to see a quicker power response and a more linear power band. On the spoiler delete option comment - my opinion is the spoiler is high above the hatch making it look like a teenager's car with an aftermarket bolt on. I know you need it for down force but I'm not a fan. An alternate spoiler configuration option would have been great. I have my Type R so no need to increase production numbers as that will reduce my resale value. Search local online dealer inventories and should be able to get one for about $2000 over sticker. Desired color is a tough find for sure.
I find it ironic that someone who buys a car purpose built for racing complains about elements of same. The seats are bolstered to prevent driver movement, the foil to create downforce, the soft tires for grip, etc. If you want a more complacent car get the Sport Hatchback.