Next Gen Honda Civic Type R Officially Teased: “Ready for Nürburgring Testing”
Less “boy racer”… more man racer?
Honda leaves us with a simple press release stating: “Development of the best performing Honda Civic Type R ever continues. The all-new Civic Type R will be introduced in 2022.”
Although polarizing in design, the FK8 generation Civic Type R, sold from 2017 to 2021, was an undeniable performance monster. Punching way above its weight class, the FK8 Civic Type R embarrassed cars much more expensive and powerful on the racetrack – all with ample room for four passengers (including the driver) and a massive boot for cargo.
It had a few shortcomings such as a propensity to overheat on hot track days and 20-inch wheels that would bend at the sight of any pothole, but both issues were properly remedied by a healthy aftermarket. At the end of the day, you had a very capable and practical front-wheel drive hatchback that felt just as much at home on a racetrack as it did on a trip to Costco. It also held the record for the fastest front-wheel drive car on the Nürburgring with a time of 7:43.8 seconds – only recently dethroned in 2019 by the Renault Megane R.S. Trophy R (say that 10 times fast) with a time of 7:40.1 seconds.
As the first Civic Type R available in the United States, the Japanese hot hatch was eagerly sought after by many fans, resulting in dealerships taking advantage and slapping on ridiculous markups thousands over MSRP. Although time will tell whether dealerships will resort to the same tactics with the upcoming Civic Type R (signs point to “yes”), let’s check out what we can gather from the photos Honda has released so far. Official specs won’t be revealed until 2022.
Starting from the front, it’s clear that the new Type R has wider muscular fenders to accommodate larger wheels and tires. Though our eyes may deceive us, it looks as though the sidewall on the new tires looks larger than the outgoing model’s. Maybe we’ll see 19-inch wheels replace the previous generation’s 20-inch wheels?
It looks like Honda has taken note from what the aftermarket was changing on the previous generation car. They’ve opened up the front vents around the Honda badge and intercooler area to provide more airflow and better cooling. Small air inlets flanking both sides of the intercooler vent are a bit difficult to see with all the camo, but they may serve to feed air to an oil cooler or the brakes. A hood scoop is noticeably missing, though we suspect small vents may be hidden from the angle the photo was taken from – we can kind of make out a vent behind the small hood bulge. The car looks to be devoid of any fake venting, but since the camouflage obscures most of the design, it’s possible they may make a return as black plastic covered panels similar to the outgoing model.
Par for the course is an aggressive lip kit on all sides. We’re certain the new Civic Type R is taking the same approach to aerodynamics as the outgoing model, so expect all visual pieces to serve healthy doses of both function and theatrics.
The rear of the next gen Civic Type R has a few subtle changes that differentiate it from the standard 2022 Civic Hatchback, yet tie it to the outgoing model. Most obvious of which is the return of the three tailpipe exhaust design. Eagle-eyed fans may notice that the center pipe is the largest this time around, whereas the outgoing Type R had two larger pipes surrounding a smaller center pipe. Finishing off the lower half is an aggressive diffuser with extended spats.
The rear wing takes a more restrained approach to aerodynamics compared to the FK8 Type R, opting for thinner metal pedestals mounted up higher on the hatch. The result is a wing that sits high and looks aggressive from the rear, but is otherwise unassuming and mature from other angles. Honda looks to have also done away with the sharp protruding vortex generators seen on the FK8 Type R.
As an aside, the rear fenders look particularly beefier from this angle. Could Honda be hiding all-wheel drive and thus need wider tires in the rear? Naaaahhh!
Jokes aside, the 2023 Civic Type R’s overall design carries cleaner lines and takes a more mature approach compared to the “boy racer” FK8 generation. Although we’re big fans of the Gundam-looking older model, we won’t discount the new car’s more “industry safe” design just yet. On a side note, check out the details on the new car’s camo – it’s actually a bunch of previous generation Civic Type R silhouettes and Type R logos scattered around!
Expect this new Type R to eclipse the older model in every performance metric; and seeing as Honda is testing at the Nürburgring, it’s safe to assume they’ll be reclaiming the fastest front-wheel drive title soon as well. Stay tuned for more info on the 2023 Civic Type R to drop in early 2022.