It's British-built - so it's right-hand drive and on Australian wish-list
Get ready as Honda powers up its fourth-generation hot hatch, the Civic Type R. To be made in Britain and launched in Europe - first as a right-hand drive - in mid-2015, it promises to be reborn as the most extreme and high-performing Type R ever, says Honda.
It will also be the first time Honda has slipped a turbocharged engine into the Type R.
But though it's to be made in a right-hand drive factory and with similar design regulations as Australia, Honda isn't confirming its appearance in Australian showrooms.
"It hasn't been confirmed yet," says Honda Australia public relations manager Melissa Cross. "But we are on record as saying that it's very high on our wish list." The Type R on show at Paris is finished in luminous blue paintwork. It sports a 2.0-litre turbocharged i-VTEC engine that is said to produce about 210kW and - in typical Type R fashion - the red-line is 7000rpm.
Honda claims the new-generation Earth Dreams Technology engine will "deliver unmatched performance against any previous Type R".
Honda confirms only that it comes with a six-speed manual transmission. In the clever suspension setup, there is a new '+R' mode for enhanced performance on track.
A button to the side of the steering wheel activates +R mode. Honda says it brings more aggressive response to the accelerator and sharper steering.
Its front-end 'steer axis' arrangement is claimed to minimise torque steer. Adaptive damping, developed specifically for the Type R, adjusts front and rear suspension settings to suit driving conditions and optimise handling and cornering grip.
This endows a comfortable ride while cruising, with the ride becoming firm and agile when high-performance handling is called for.
Type R project leader Suehiro Hasshi says: "In default standard mode, the Civic Type R is exceptionally agile, an everyday sports car with an enjoyable and fluid acceleration. The +R button brings out a more dynamic and athletic car for the driver, sure to set pulses racing.
"The difference in character is immense. The +R mode is extreme; the car is ideal for the track and will be appreciated by the genuine sports-driving enthusiast." Hasshi says his company has had four Type R model derivatives - the Civic, Integra, Accord and NSX.
"The engine in this new Honda Civic Type R is unrivalled against all of them in terms of raw power, torque and engine response," he says.
He envisages that the car will have appeal for more than just the engine. "Engineering innovations and enhancements will make the new Type R a true driver's car, more than worthy of wearing the famous red -H' badge."