Posts Tagged ‘WTCC’

Honda Announces Two New Civics for 2014 WTCC & BTCC Seasons

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Now that the 2013 motor sport season has come to a close, automakers all over the world are setting their sights on the 2014 season. Honda is no different, and this week they unveiled two brand-new Civic race cars they intend to put to the track next year.

2014 Civic WTCC Racer (Hatchback)

2014 Civic WTCC Car

Unlike the Civic BTCC racer below, the only visual we have of the 2014 Civic WTCC racer is the digital rendering you see above. However, what a rendering it is; easily one of the most attractive cars we’ve seen in 2013. And just imagine that at one time it was nothing more than a plain old Civic five-door hatchback!

Compared to the FIA race car they used in the 2013 World Touring Car Championship, this one will get several updates. Some of them are aimed at complying with new regulations; others are simply aimed at improving performance.

Unfortunately, we don’t have an entire list of specific updates to refer you to. However, we do know that the incoming racer will get a more powerful engine, larger wheels, an extended rear spoiler and all-around improved aerodynamics.

2014 Civic BTCC Racer (Tourer)

2014 Honda BTCC car

This is Honda’s 2014 contribution to the British Touring Car Championship. As you can see, it is a Honda Civic Tourer-based race car with tons of performance upgrades. Interestingly enough, it’s will be the only wagon-based racer in next year’s BTCC. Traditionally wagons are heavier and less aerodynamic than their smaller, more compact counterparts. However, given Honda’s excellent performance in this and past year’s BTCCs, we’re sure that the longer roofline won’t have any impact in the car’s dominance on the track, and it will be interesting to know whether there is some aerodynamic benefit to this shape over a regular “saloon car” configuration.

Now, before you go raising that skeptical left eyebrow of yours, remember this: the Civic Touring is actually one of the most compact wagons out there. In fact, it’s only 9 inches longer than the Civic hatchbacks Honda used in 2013. The performance-tuned BTCC Tourer will actually weigh exactly the same, feature the same suspension, and have an identical wheelbase to the Civic hatchbacks of the 2013 season. They’ll even use the same drivers – Matt Neal and Gordon ‘Flash’ Shedden.

Also keep in mind that there could be some changes to the final BTCC racer, as Honda hasn’t officially started testing it yet. That will begin in January 2014.

Even with the aerodynamic tuning so obviously featured in the BTCC Tourer, there’s no doubt that the wagon will present some unique challenges compared to a hatchback. But, that’s exactly what Honda wants — after four straight years of championship titles, they’ve decided they’re going to make 2014 a challenge.

All in all, Honda has demonstrated a phenomenal affinity for motorsports racing, and there’s no reason to think that these two new cars will be anything less than stellar. If Honda can successfully pull out championships with a wagon-based race car, all the more power to them. Either way, you’ll have to check back next March to see how well these two new Civics can finish.

And then there’s Honda’s return to F1 coming in 2015. Even more too look forward to from this Japanese car maker.


Honda Civic WTCC Ready to Race in the FIA World Touring Car Championship

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, March 16th, 2013

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.

Honda Civic WTCC 2013

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.

Source: Autoblog