It’s the new Honda Civic Type R – or at least a conceptual preview of the one to follow. We drove an early prototype of the forthcoming Japanese hot hatch while in town for the Tokyo Motor Show a few months ago, where Honda made no secret of its Eiffel-bound aspirations. Now it has taken a big step closer with the concept you see here.
Previewing the extreme styling that will set the next Type R apart from ordinary Civics (or the European-spec hatchback on which it’s based), the concept has a giant rear spoiler, enlarged grilles, hood vents and widened fenders packing both 20-inch alloys and additional air vents.
Underneath it all is the largest iteration of Honda’s new turbocharged, direct-injection engine family: a 2.0-liter turbo four churning out 280 metric horsepower – 276 hp by our standards. Precisely the same output as the more powerful version of the Leon Cupra that recently set that all-important lap record, and a good 15 horses more than the Renaultsport Megane 265 Trophy that held it before. Consider the gauntlet thrown down. While you’re considering that, scope out the live images in the gallery above, the stock images in the gallery below and the press release below that. There are also a couple of videos, including one with the Type R designer, to be found below the fold.