How many American enthusiasts grew up dreaming of the Honda Civic Type R? Picking it in Gran Turismo, reading about it in car magazines, trying to tune their own Civics into something that approximated its legend. In just a few short months it will be forbidden no more. Meet the 2018 Honda Civic Type R in production spec, headed to the U.S. for the first time ever soon.

Honda this morning took the wraps on the new Civic Type R at the Geneva Motor Show, and finally gave us some specs to work with: 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder i-VTEC engine.

And yes, it stays front-wheel drive, unlike the competition from Ford or Subaru or even Audi. I’m actually okay with this. It stays true to the Civic Type R’s heritage and offers something a little different from the ubiquity of AWD these days. Can it keep up on track?


Honda swears it can. Based on the new five-door Civic Hatchback, they say this bad boy has substantial body, chassis and braking upgrades to make it worthy of being the first Honda-badged Type R car ever sold in the U.S. Remember, we got the Integra Type R as an Acura.

This car has a body more than 40 percent more rigid than the old European Civic Type R, which nobody ever said was soft. It has new springs, dampers and bushings, an entirely new front suspension setup with aluminum lower arms and steering knuckles for “improved at-the-limit cornering and reduced torque steer,” a retuned steering system, a helical limited-slip front differential, Brembo brakes and 20-inch wheels with Continental ContiSportContact 6 performance tires.

And yes, it comes with a manual, and a manual only. Deal with it.

Honda doesn’t say when exactly, but the Civic Type R is set to go on sale on the U.S. in late spring with an MSRP in the mid-$30,000 range, putting it on par with the Ford Focus RS and Subaru WRX STI. It makes its American debut at the New York Auto Show next month.

I’m into this. Who else is into this?