Honda’s looking to build a little more buzz for the last variant of the 11th generation Honda Civic — Type R, which is set to make its debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon this weekend.
The brand unleashed its latest videos — yes, two of them — of the pocket rocket going through track testing at the renowned Suzuka Circuit clad in orange, white, grey and black camouflage. The Type R’s debut follows the sedan, hatchback and Si reveals that have been going on for the last 14 months.
The promo videos, which are 30 seconds and 90 seconds long, respectively, come just as the Honda Civic was tabbed as the 2022 North American Car of the Year. They give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the engineers putting the car through its paces on the track.
Honda’s not shy about how it feels about the new model, calling it the “best performing Civic Type R ever.”
Longer views, but no new info
We’ve gotten a few other spy and teaser shots of late. Unfortunately, we’ve still seen no interior shots. And Honda has offered virtually nothing about the technical details of the Type R. But digging deep and connecting with our various sources and we’ve got more to tell you about the Civic Type R coming next year.
While the Civic is in its 11th generation, the high-performance Type R was a relatively late arrival into the U.S. market, introduced in 2017. The previous-gen Type R used an optimized version of Honda’s 2.0-liter VTEC engine to make 306 horsepower and about 295 pound-feet of torque.
The new model will be quite an upgrade, company sources have directly confirmed. Some reports have indicated the new powerplant could put out 400 hp, although that would require a hybridized version of the revised 2.0-liter powertrain.
There is no doubt that Honda sees hybrid technology playing an important role in future performance products, but it is questionable whether it’s ready to go there with the 2023 edition of the Type R. More realistically, bumping the turbo-4 engine up to 320 hp would seem likely.
For those who prefer to row their own, the 2023 Type R is almost certain to be offered with a manual gearbox, an upgraded version of the 6-speed in the new Civic Si.
Big changes this time
Like it’s less powerful (read: slower) siblings, the new Type R gets some changes to enhance its ride and handing, starting with a stiffer body and chassis and a slightly longer wheelbase and wider rear track. The big question for the newbie will be is it a final product or will it get updates as its predecessor did?
In 2020, for example, its active damping system was substantially refined, yielding a much quicker response at each corner to both driver input and road conditions.
Expect to see Honda upgrade the technology onboard the new Type R. There’ll be improvements to the infotainment system, of course, and there’ll be new nanny functions for the Honda Sensing system — though the new hatchback will offer a range of driver modes that will allow a motorist to sharply dial back on how and when they step in.