The Honda Civic Type R is arguably the most fun-to-drive compact on the market, but its extreme boy racer looks aren’t for everyone. Soon, critics of the Type R’s styling may have less to complain about, as these spy shots show two test mules equipped with a much smaller rear wing. Could Honda be testing a more toned down appearance package for its hot hatch?
From what we can see in the photos, the prototype looks very close to a production Type R save for one crucial difference: It wears a small beltline-level rear spoiler in place of the massive wing you’d normally find mounted to the hatch. The spoiler and badges are covered in camo, but the aero piece mounts above the third brake light and bridges the gap between the taillights.
There’s also camo on the front valance, hinting at subtle revisions to the front end—perhaps to improve cooling. A second prototype wearing the same front end camouflage but the standard wing was also caught testing with the red car. Another test mule in white was caught testing the next day with a little wing as well.
It’s unclear if Honda will offer the smaller wing as an option or if the prototypes preview an upcoming lower trim level within the Type R lineup, but Honda clearly has something up its sleeves.
The stock rear wing and other aero pieces are said to be functional, providing a claimed 66 pounds of downforce at 124 mph. But for those who never plan to see those speeds, sacrificing track capability for a less ostentatious look might be a fair trade-off.
What do you think Honda has cooking for the Type R? Check out the spy shots in the gallery and decide for yourself.