Honda could make a go-faster version of the five-door Type R Civic hatchback it unveiled at the Paris motor show – if there is demand for such a flyer.
It has admitted it is prepared to follow the example of French carmaker Renault, which uprated its three-door Megane RS265 to the RS275 Trophy R to set a lap record for a front-wheel drive car around the Nurburgring circuit.
Honda’s chief engineer Hisayuki Yaga told reporters at Paris that the Japanese company wants to simply better the performance of its competitors.
“If there is a big noise in the market requiring even more extreme performance, this is something we might consider, even though at the moment it is not in planning.
“Reducing weight is one measure we could think about,” he said. “It would be like creating a race car from a road car. But it’s not just stripping off weight – we could use technology to do this too.”
Honda showed off the World Touring Car version of the Type R (top) but won’t reveal Type R performance figures until it shows off the actual production model at the Geneva show next March.
Said Yaga: “Our intention is to exceed the performance of our competitors, and not just cars that are being developed especially for track use,” he said.
“That could be from a standing start, in-gear acceleration, a lap time on the Nurburgring – everything.”
The Type R makes use of a turbocharged engine, a first for Honda in a production car. Yaga said Honda fans who worship at the altar of naturally aspirated, high-revving engines have nothing to fear from the change.
“The turbo is just a tool, a measure to achieve certain performance. It’s not just an engine with a turbo unit. It is a Honda VTEC engine with a turbo unit on top. The characteristics will not be spoiled by the turbo.
“It will have the ultimate performance we have ever created in a Type R without spoiling the traditional DNA.”
- See previous story: Turbocharged Type R on Honda NZ wish list – ‘if we can get it’