The “safari” trend in the car world has gone off the rails in recent years, with folks nearly getting themselves killed just to give their vehicle that certain look. But, while I’ve backed off on my “Safari All the Cars” take, I will say that I’m a fan of this lifted Honda Civic Type R.
It’s called the Honda Civic Type OveRland, and it was unveiled today at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Test Day at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, England.
While still under development at Ralph Hosier Engineering, the car, Honda U.K. says in its press release, keeps the standard Type R’s ~315 horsepower 2.0-liter turbo VTEC engine, and even retains some of the stock vehicle’s suspension trickery. That said, clearly the vehicle has been lifted (four inches, according to Honda), and outfitted with some chunky off-road tires. Here’s what the automaker writes about the car’s suspension and tire setup:
The complex anti-torque-steer Dual-Axis strut arrangement has been retained to allow the fundamental design and purpose of the Civic Type R’s suspension to work as the factory intended. At the rear, a bespoke trailing arm mounting and modified transverse links have lifted the car three inches higher than standard. Transferring this to the tarmac, or mud, are 255/55/18 BF Goodrich tyres wrapped around rally-derived, lightweight wheels. Finished in iconic Championship White the concept subtly accentuates silhouette to create a familiar but different feel to the car.
I don’t think the car looks nearly as good from the side, especially with the missing rocker panel trim, and I also think the lower front fascia could use a bit of cleanup, and some protection for that charge air cooler. Still, despite those qualms, I do think the Civic Type R lends itself quite well to a lift kit and some aggressive meats.
While Honda does call the car a “concept,” it also mentions that Ralph Hosier plans “one-off versions” for “discerning customers.” We don’t know what other mods the company has planned for this car, but as it sits, if their team can clean up the rockers and front fascia, and protect that CAC, then this could be a seriously cool vehicle to own.