The most hotly anticipated Japanese hot-hatch, the new Honda Civic Type R, is the car that we all hope will be the answer to our enthusiast prayers. A huge wing. Awesome, puffed up Japanese looks. Coming to America! And now we’re hearing that it will also get a CVT option. Wait, what? What? (Update: It seems we jumped the gun and Honda has confirmed no CVT will be in this Type R.)
Update: A Honda spokesman has confirmed the car will be manual-only. We apologize for the mistake, but are glad we were wrong in this case. The original text follows below.
Citing an interview with Honda head engineer Mirsuru Kariya that appeared in Car Magazine’s November print edition, users on the CivicX.com forum have pulled out some of the most interesting points of the article. Honda confirmed that a six-speed manual will be standard but will also offer a CVT option as well. There will be no dual-clutch option.
This is... concerning. And unusual. Typically CVT gearboxes are considered anathema to performance cars, given their sluggishness and lack of direct control. Even the ones that offer controllable “ratios” like on the Subaru WRX aren’t that great and are seldom preferable to manuals or true automatics.
Then again, Honda says that it will be “optimized for low-end acceleration.” And we already know the CVT in the Civic and the new CR-V is quite good, so clearly Honda knows what it’s doing. But is it worthy of being in a Type R?
Also, why would anyone get a Civic Type R with a CVT when the manual option is standard? Other details that were confirmed include an LSD up front and that the car will be front-wheel-drive only.
I can’t wait to meet this wacky bastard.