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2017 Honda Civic Type R arrives for Melbourne Grand Prix

With all eyes on Melbourne this weekend for the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, Honda has taken the opportunity today to roll out the forthcoming Civic Type R for its first local viewing.

The Japanese brand enlisted the help of McLaren-Honda F1 driver, Stoffel Vandoorne, to present the 10th-generation performance hero at the public event, with the Type R now on display at the Hilton Melbourne South Wharf for the duration of the race weekend.

Vandoorne was fortunate to become the first person Down Under to slide behind the wheel of the hot hatch, with the young Belgian sharing his first impressions after a short drive.

"It's a superb looking car and faithful to the ethos of what makes the Type R great — a superb engine, excellent dynamics and Honda's proven quality and reliability," he said.

"As a high-performance hatch showcasing Honda's technological expertise, it's also perfectly at home in the world of Formula 1."

The production version of the performance hero was revealed at the Geneva motor show earlier this month, with the car remaining faithful to the design of the concept that was uncovered at last year's Paris show.

Significant shove is provided by a 2.0-litre VTEC turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 235kW of power and 400Nm of torque, which ensures the Type R has what it takes to stay competitive against the likes of the Ford Focus RS (257kW/440Nm) and Volkswagen Golf R (206kW/380Nm).

Meanwhile, power is sent to the tarmac via the front wheels, while the high-output powerplant is matched to a six-speed manual gearbox which features rev-matching.

It was a family affair at the Melbourne event as the hot hatch was joined by two of its Civic siblings – the sedan and soon-to-be-released RS hatch.

The ninth-gen Type R never made it to local showrooms, despite an influx of interest from Aussie customers.

However, as previously reported, the newest model remains on track for a release Down Under during the fourth quarter of this year and will be sold in North America for the first time.

Australian pricing and specification details will be released by Honda closer to the Civic Type R's on-sale date.

Has the next-gen Civic Type R already piqued your interest? Tell us what you think in the comments below.