Posts Tagged ‘type-r’

New Honda Civic Type R Concept Looks Ready to Win

Posted by Stephen On Friday, March 7th, 2014

For some reason, the new Honda Civic Type R Concept wasn’t one of the cars we were excited to see at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. Perhaps it’s because we’d already seen an initial prototype at the Tokyo Motor Show … Perhaps it’s because we didn’t imagine Honda’s hot hatch outshining the likes of the new Toyota Aygo. Either way, we were wrong – the new Honda Civic Type R Concept is astonishingly alluring, both mechanically and aesthetically.

Honda Civic Type R concept

As you can see, the Civic Type R Concept features an extremely aggressive styling, but its purpose is more than just looking good. According to Honda, this new concept fully represents their racing spirit, and as such it has been developed from the ground up with performance in mind. Every single detail – the enormous grille, the prominent front and rear vents, the quad exhaust, the extra wide finders, the 20-inch wheels – serves the purpose of speed.

According to Honda, “When combined, these features deliver maximum cooling, greater grip and ultimately, optimum performance.” Honda’s eventual goal with their Civic Type R is to claim the fastest lap time at the Nürburgring race track for front-wheel drive vehicles. It’s a record currently held by the Seat Leon Cupra with a lap time of 7:58:44. That’s going to be a tough time to beat!

But, Honda’s performance-oriented hot hatch won’t just be a track car… In Honda’s own words, it’s NOT a high-performance road car; it’s a racing car for the road. They’re taking a different approach from most other automakers that take their normal road cars and try to beef them up into racing models. According to the Civic Type R’s chief stylist, Honda developed the Type R for the sort of customer who has a passion for driving and a love for sports cars.

Obviously, the Honda Civic Type R looks impressive, and we’re sure that it’s highly aerodynamic. But, what about the powertrain?

Well, we don’t know everything, but we do know that the engine itself will be a brand-new VTEC TURBO with Earth Dreams Technology. More specifically, it’ll be 2.0L with “class-leading output of at least 280PS”, which is roughly 276hp, the exact same output as the record-holding Leon Cupra. Not sure how that will be “class-leading” then ….

To be honest, the still images don’t do justice to the incredible aesthetic of the new Honda Civic Type R Concept. So, if you’d like to see more, just check out the video below:

We’re sure that we will see the Honda Civic Type R take to the track sometime between now and commercial production, but no specific details have been announced. However, we do know that the production Civic Type R will debut in Europe sometime during 2015. Whether it’ll be at the end of the year as a 2016MY or at the beginning of the year as a 2015MY remains to be seen. Until then, you’ll just have to do your best to keep your jaw attached to your face.


2015 Honda Civic Type-R Could Form the Foundation for a New Honda CR-Z

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, September 21st, 2013

Honda Civic Type R

We got our first peek at the next-generation 2015 Honda Civic Type-R at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, and what a peek it was!  While we didn’t get to see much of the three-door hot hatch’s aesthetic, we did get to see it blazing around the Nürburgring circuit. In case you missed it, take a look at the I-don’t-want-to-admit-it-but-this-is-awesome video below:

Apparently, Honda asked WTCC racing legend Gabriele Tarquini to put their Type-R development model through the wringer on Germany’s most infamous track. As you can see (and hear), he clearly did his job well. You can hear every one of those 276 horses, can’t you?

Impressively enough, Tarquini was able to take the Civic Type-R for a lap in a less than 8 minutes, which is a better performance than the current lap record holder – the Renault Megane RS Trophy. By the time the Civic Type-R actually makes it to production, Honda wants their hot hatch to have the fastest lap time of any front-wheel drive car.

Now, this is all well and good and everything, but it’s actually not the most interesting development regarding Honda’s next-gen Civic Type-R. Nope, what’s even more exciting is that Honda has plans to use their new Civic Type-R as the foundation for the next generation Honda CR-Z coupe.

This is especially exciting for our U.S.-based readers because it’s very unlikely that the Honda Civic Type-R will ever make it to American shores, at least if past Type-R’s are any indication.  This is because the U.S. has been trained to see current and past Civics as more of an economical car than a performance car. Same thing for hatchbacks in general, actually; the U.S. doesn’t demonstrate the same obsession with hatchbacks (yet) that we’ve seen in international markets, particularly Europe. A sports coupe, on the other hand, would be universally appealing and virtually guaranteed to see production in the U.S.

Keep in mind, this is just a rumor right now.  Our primary source of information is an Australian auto blog (CarSales.com.au) which states that, “Indications from a source close to Honda point in that direction [of a CR-Z].”  Nonetheless, it seems likely .  Honda reports being extremely impressed by the performance of the jointly developed Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ (as have we all), and now they want a piece of the pie.  According to CarSales’ insider, “The raw driving experience, good power, sporty look, low price and sizable global sales figures sent a shock wave through Honda’s R&D section.”

It will certainly be interesting to see what Honda ends up doing with their new CR-Z Type-R, which is supposedly coming in 2015.  For one thing, the Civic Type-R hatchback will be an upmarket vehicle, while Honda needs to keep the CR-Z coupe below $40K to have a shot at competing with the Scion FR-S in the U.S. Unfortunately, we really don’t know anything more at this point, but we’ll keep you updated as soon as we learn more .  Until then, thanks for reading!


What Honda and Acura Brought to the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Friday, September 13th, 2013

We’ve covered Nissan and Infiniti, we’ve covered Toyota and Lexus, and today we’re going to keep moving right along into the third largest Japanese automaker, Honda and Acura.

Interestingly enough, Honda followed a similar pattern to Toyota in that they showcased two cars we already knew a lot about, but then gave us some juicy details about a car that’s coming-soon. The difference is that where Toyota deliberately did NOT confirm their new GT86 Hybrid, Honda deliberately DID confirm details about a new upcoming Civic, which we’ll talk more about below.

First, though, let’s start with the two primary Japanese cars being showcased by Honda/Acura.

Honda Civic Tourer

It’s a bit surprising to string these words together in a sentence, but Honda’s new Civic Tourer is actually very appealing. Maybe it’s just the context that the Japanese-made wagon was shown in at this particular motor show, but everything about it seems so well-refined. Adrian Killham, the Civic Tourer’s project leader, really hit the nail on the head when he said, “Recently launched cars have tended to follow a similar style. The Civic Tourer has a different balance and appeal.”

In other words, look at the Lexus LF-NX Concept. Look at the Infiniti Q30 Concept. Look at the Suzuki iV-4 Concept (which we’ll cover tomorrow). These are what the Civic Tourer was shown next to, and compared to the above, the Tourer just seems so… polished. Granted, the other cars listed here are concepts and not production models, but still, the point stands.

The Civic Tourer features a design that is seamless and sleek, muscular and subtle, and natural but not uncomfortable. In short, it’s a nice break from the over-aggressive styling that we’ve seen from a lot of new cars as of late. But, there’s more to the Honda Civic Tourer than just looks.

For starters, the Tourer has a metric ton of cargo space with 59 cubic feet available when the rear seats are folded down. Depending on where you are, you’ll have access to a Civic Tourer with either a 1.8L four-cylinder i-VTEC gas engine or a 1.6L i-DTEC Earth Dreams diesel engine.

Unfortunately, we still have no idea whether the new Honda Civic Tourer will ever be sold on U.S. shores.  But, we shouldn’t have to wait long to find out. It’ll be sold in Europe early next year, so if the wagon is going to be sold In the U.S., we should know by the end of 2013.

Acura NSX Q&A

We weren’t actually expecting to learn anything new about the upcoming Acura NSX hybrid, but Honda surprised us. While we’ve seen the same NSX that was shown at Frankfurt several times before, this time around Honda/Acura put together a brief Q&A with the new NSX’s Chief Engineer, Ted Klaus. You’re free to watch the video below for the full scoop, but here are a few of the most important questions answered:

“What was your favorite Type R model and why?”

This isn’t directly relevant, but it’s interesting because Klaus says his favorite Type R ever was the ’98 – ’01 version. Why? According to him, it “peeled” exceptionally well, as in “peeling the onion,” not, “peeling out”. In other words, it was a car with multiple layers and attributes that could only be fully appreciated through time spent behind the wheel. The more you drove it, the more you liked it. He says that’s one of the biggest things he’s looking to achieve with the new NSX.

“Why create a hybrid NSX?”

Klaus says the new NSX is intended to fully embody the original idea behind NSX, which apparently stands for New Sports Experimental. So, it’s going to be a hybrid because that’s the technology that Honda feels it would benefit most from experimenting with. Perhaps because their competitors are doing the same?
But, there are other factors besides sheer “newness” at play in the NSX hybrid. Ted says that a hybrid powertrain allows for a lower center of gravity, more intelligent design, and an overall higher response for the driver.

“How will you keep the character of the original NSX?”

Apparently, Klaus and his team actually sat down with the original development team to discuss what the first creators thought were the most important elements of the original car. Those elements were vivid response, a good power to weight ratio, and a human-focused driving experience.

These are just three of the five or six questions Klaus answered in the video, so you can learn more by watching the whole thing below:

Honda Civic Type R

Honda Civic Type R testing

Finally, we have the first piece of actual news from Honda’s presence at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Honda has officially pledged that the 2015 Honda Civic Type R will become the fastest front-wheel drive car to lap the Nürburgring. The new Civic Type-R will beat the current record of 8 minutes and 7.97 seconds with a brand-new 276 bhp 2.0L direct injection engine with turbocharge. They’re also enlisting the help of championship-winning driver Gabriele Tarquini, a man who certainly knows what it takes to compete on Germany’s most infamous circuit.

Of course, Honda still has two more years until they’ve promised us the Civic Type R, so even though the lap record could change between now and then, Tarquini has plenty of time to help them push their new engine to its limits.

We weren’t expecting much from Honda and Acura at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show; they certainly didn’t generate much fanfare ahead of time. But, the Civic Touring was pleasantly impressive, the new information about the NSX was greatly appreciated, and we’re more excited than ever to see the Civic Type R whenever Honda feels ready to share it with us.

Thanks for reading, and come back tomorrow for our bits and pieces wrap up of any Japanese cars you might’ve missed at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.