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2023 Honda Civic Type R might get automatic transmission option! New Hyundai i30 N, Volkswagen Golf GTI and Ford Focus ST rival to offer two pedals: report

The next-generation Civic Type R could have to transmission options. (Image credit: Best Car Web)

According to a new report, Honda could be planning a big surprise with the next-generation Civic Type R hot hatch: an automatic transmission option.

As we know, Honda previously confirmed the fresh Civic Type R would come standard with a six-speed manual, but Best Car Web now claims “a six-speed paddle-shift AT [automatic transmission] is also expected”.

Needless to say, that’s big news for the front-wheel-drive Civic Type R, which has had its appeal limited to three-pedal fans since its first generation in 1997.

It’s not clear what type of six-speed automatic the Japanese publication is referring to, but it could be the ‘H6’ torque-converter unit from some variants of North America’s Pilot large SUV, which would put the Civic Type R on a collision course with the seven-speed Ford Focus ST.

Alternatively, Honda may have developed a new six-speed dual-clutch automatic that would not only be befitting of the Civic Type R’s performance bent, but also help it better rival the eight-speed Hyundai i30 N and seven-speed Volkswagen Golf GTI.

With the Civic Type R’s reveal expected mid-year ahead of Australian release date in late 2022, we won’t have to wait too long to find out if it will, indeed, have a wider customer base, so stay tuned.

Also of interest will be what’s under the Civic Type R’s bonnet, with Best Car Web tipping it will forgo the rumoured electrification route for a ‘carryover’ 2.0-litre turbo-petrol VTEC four-cylinder engine.

This unit currently outputs 228kW or 235kW of power, depending on the market, and 400Nm of torque. But for the Civic Type R’s next generation, these figures could rise, or Honda may instead achieve higher performance by reducing weight and increasing rigidity.

Either way, the Civic Type R’s exterior will be more conservatively designed than before, as indicated by the lightly camouflaged prototype Honda unveiled last October. That said, there’s still triple exhaust tailpipes and an unavoidably large rear wing spoiler.