No, it won’t be coming to the U.S., but Honda’s upcoming Civic Type R looks to be an exciting hot hatch, especially now that Honda has announced a potential power figure of “at least” 276 hp from a direct-injected, turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.
The Civic Type R is based on the European-spec Civic hatchback and will go on sale in 2015. We recently spied a prototype testing on the Nürburgring with a Ford Focus RS, and Honda is aiming to make the Civic Type R into the fastest front-wheel-drive car around the famed German racetrack. The current record is 8:08, set in 2011 the Renault Megane 265 Trophy. Honda says the Civic Type R will be put through another two years of development before its on-sale date to achieve this goal. Manabu Nishimae, the President of Honda Motor Europe, said that a Civic Type R prototype has already set a time “approaching the lap record” in recent testing.
If the 276 hp estimate is any indication, Honda intends to go head to head with the best European hot hatches, including the 276 hp Opel Astra OPC, the aforementioned 265 hp Renault, the 210-220-hp Volkswagen GTI, and the upcoming 2015 Ford Focus RS which we hear could pack as much as 350 hp from an EcoBoost engine.
Since this is a highly anticipated car, expect Honda to trickle out more information on a periodic basis about the Civic Type R in preparation for the car’s official debut in 2015. Until then, check out photos and video of the Type R testing on the track.