We’d said earlier this week that there were several cars from the Geneva Motor Show that we didn’t get a chance to talk about. Since they weren’t the newest or most popular, we decided that our readers would appreciate our focus on the most newsworthy concepts and show cars.
However, now that Geneva is over there’s a lull in the automotive industry. Frankly, not a whole lot is going on. But, the 2013 World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) is right around the corner with the first race in Italy on March 23 and 24.
So, today we thought we’d jump back briefly to talk about one of the more exciting, but less popular vehicles at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show – the Honda WTCC.
Honda’s been talking about entering the FIA’s WTCC for about a year now… They made the first announcement in February of last year, hoping to make it into the first race of the 2012 Championship. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and the Civic WTCC didn’t get onto a track until the last 3 races of the 2012 season. But, the 2013 season is fresh upon us and we’re excited to see how the newly updated and tweaked Civic WTCC performs.
So, what tweaks did Honda make to the Civic WTCC in the off-season?
Well, after some final testing this month in Spain, the revamped hot hatch is now more aerodynamic than ever, complete with a more resilient suspension and sharper breaking. In addition, both the engine and the turbocharge configuration have seen several tweaks to improve their performance. The current 1.6L 4-cylinder direct injection turbo-charged petrol engine (required configuration for the WTCC) is more efficient and more powerful than ever.
Honda’s JAS Motorsport team will feature two drivers who will pilot the Civic WTCC through all 24 races of this year’s season. The first is 2009 WTCC champion, Gabriele Tarquini. The second is a Portuguese driver by the name of Tiago Monteiro who claimed the Civic WTCC’s first podium finish in November of last year. Both drivers should be able to do justice for the tweaked out super-Civic.
There will also be a private Hungarian team – Zengo Motorsport – piloting Honda’s WTCC Civic. Their chosen driver will be Norbert Michelisz. The fact that a private team actively wants to drive the Civic WTCC after just a quarter season last year is a testament to the car’s performance. In just 3 races, the car dropped jaws.
Stay tuned here for updates after the first WTCC race – the Race of Italy – later this month. Whether from Honda’s JAS Motorsport team or from Zengo Motorsport, you can bet you’ll be seeing the Civic WTCC on the podium this year, maybe even next weekend.
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