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Honda Civic concept comes as surprise at show

By raccars Published

Honda Civic Type R

Surprise concept appears at Paris motor show to preview the next Honda Civic Type-R.

The next generation of the Honda Civic Type-R has been previewed thanks to a surprise concept shown off at this year’s Paris motor show. The concept car takes its lead from the 2017 Honda Civic.

The concept will be used as the influence for a production model which the company has confirmed will be available to buy sometime during the second six months of next year. It will make its global debut as part of March’s 2017 Geneva motor show.

New Honda Civic Type-R aims high

The new Honda Civic Type R will be built with the aim of setting the bar for future front-wheel-drive cars in the performance segment. A Nurburgring lap record has also been set as a target.

These lofty ambitions mean that the new Honda Civic must be faster than the current leader of the front wheel drive pack, namely Volkswagen’s Golf GTI Clubsport S. It will also have to overtake the forthcoming 2018 Renault Megane RS.

Honda was not keen to reveal too many technical details during the Paris show but it is believed that the Honda Civic Type-R will continue to be a front-drive model, despite the class being increasingly dominated all-wheel alternatives.

The Honda Civic’s wider chassis is intended to boost handling stability and improve grip, helped by the model’s new aerodynamic package which includes a front splitter and two rear spoilers. Daisuke Tsutamori, the chief designer of the Type-R, said that the aero package and design ensure plenty of down force.

The car’s design includes three vents on the front, with a slim central grille and a slot-type upper grille complementing the conventional lower vent. The area around the central grill also forms part of the car's ped-pro collision impact hardware. The new Type R makes use of the Civic’s multi-link axle at the rear. The existing model had to be converted to make use of this new multi-link version.

An aggressive look for the Honda Civic

Other styling features, meanwhile, include wider air vents and smoked LED headlights. There are new carbon fibre skirts which make the car look more aggressive and 20-inch alloys with performance tyres. The new Honda Civic concept also boasts flared wheel arches and three exhaust outlets.

The power output has yet to be released but it is thought that just under 302bhp could be the minimum. The current Honda Civic Type-R has a 2.0 petrol turbocharged engine which offers most power at higher revs. The power output of the new Honda Civic Type-R could go as high as 350bhp. In contrast, the all-wheel-drive VW Golf R offers 300bhp.

Honda has confirmed that the new car will be built beside regular Civics at the manufacturer’s factory in Swindon. It is destined for global export and will be the first time that the car has gone on sale in North America.

The new model will be slightly more expensive than the current car, according to Honda. The latest Honda Civic Type-R has a £30,000 starting price. The current car was only launched last year to compete with the likes of the Mercedes-AMG A45, the VW Golf R, the Audi RS3 Sportback and the Ford Focus RS. Its limited production life is likely to increase demand and means that it will ultimately become a collector’s item.

Only 2,500 of the cars are set to be sold to British drivers and it currently accounts for just four per cent of all Honda Civic sales. Honda UK believes that the new version will sell about 1,000 units each year, which is a similar figure to the current car.

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