Honda has promised that the new 276 horsepower (or more) Civic Type R will not only be the baddest hot hatch around, but also the most extreme Honda ever made. How fast will it go? Up to 167 MPH, the company announced today. As they say in Japan, "That's a spicy meatball!"
Honda says they'll debut the final production version of the new Civic Type R at next month's Geneva Motor Show, along with all the official specs. In the meantime they said the car has an extreme aero kit to help it achieve such speeds, as well as 350mm drilled Brembo brakes for when you don't want to be achieving those speeds anymore.
The Type R will be powered by a 2.0-liter VTEC turbo four sending 276 horsepower to the front wheels, although the UK's Car magazine speculates final power output could top 300. Redline's at 7000 RPM, which is high but not Honda-high, thanks to the turbo.
Let's compare that top speed to similar competitors: the 2015 Volkswagen Golf R will do up to 155 MPH, as does its cousin the Seat Leon Cupra 280, though they're electronically limited to that speed. The current front-wheel drive Nürburgring champion, the Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy-R, will do 158 MPH. So if Honda's claim is true, the Civic Type R will be capable of significantly faster speeds.
Does this matter to you, the average schmoe, whose Civic Type R could very well spend half its life stuck in traffic the same as any car? Not really, but it shows the level of engineering that went into this car, and it's quite impressive so far.
We'll see the real deal next month. Now all Honda has to do is bring it to the U.S. If Ford can justify selling the more expensive, Euro-built Ford Focus RS (whose top speed we don't know yet!) over here, I hope Honda will do the same. America deserves it.
More on that aero kit:
A new, almost completely flat underside aids airflow under the vehicle and combines with a rear diffuser to optimize downforce – effectively 'sucking' the car onto the road. A bespoke rear wing gives the car enhanced visual presence and delivers powerful additional downforce, thanks notably to the structure of its airfoil section.
A wide front splitter and deep side skirts also manage airflow and reduce lift, while the front bumper has been shaped specifically to inhibit air turbulence around the front wheels, cutting drag and enhancing high-speed stability.
To help the driver manage the Type R's prodigious power, the car is equipped with a high performance Brembo brake package for the front wheels, developed specifically for the car. At the front, four-piston calipers apply braking force to 350 mm drilled discs. New 19-inch alloy wheels, unique to the Type R, complement the visual changes, filling the wheel arches and accommodating the larger brakes.
Heat management was another major focus for the design team, influencing several prominent external design modifications. Enlarged upper and lower grilles in the front bumper, vents above the wheels on the front quarter panels and vents at the trailing edges of the front wheel arches combine to provide greater cooling and ventilation for the high-output engine.