Honda Australia has revealed that the Civic Type R will rocket into local showrooms from October this year, with the hot hatch likely to wear a circa-$50,000 sticker price.
Such pricing would place the front-wheel-drive (FWD) Type R firmly in the sights of the all-wheel-drive (AWD) Ford Focus RS and Volkswagen Golf R pair, which are priced from $50,990 and $52,990 before on-road costs respectively.
Additionally, this price tag would create some distance between the manic Civic and its fellow FWD competitors like the $38,990 Focus ST and $41,490 Golf GTI.
According to Honda Australia boss Stephen Collins, the final price for the Civic Type R will be dependent on currency rates but the aim is for it to be attractive nonetheless.
“I think we have said from day one we want to target around the 50 mark,” he said. “(Questions have been) asked if it will be over or under. We still need to work that out. It will depend a bit on the strength of the Aussie dollar.
“We have to be pretty close to that $50,000 mark. We will confirm that as soon as we can. I always say we just want to hit that sweet spot in the hot-hatch segment and it is around that 50 mark.”
Furthermore, Honda Australia customer and communications boss Scott McGregor confirmed that the Type R will arrive Down Under in one specification grade only.
“In terms of spec, it is going to be very highly specced. And obviously… with the competitive set, it is going to have to be priced very competitively as well. So we think the package we will have in market will be very, very strong,” he said.
Earlier this month, Honda UK announced pricing for its Type R line-up that is set to be offered in two model grades locally, with prices starting at either ₤30,995 ($A55,000) for the entry-level variant or ₤32,995 ($A58,500) for the top-spec GT.
Mr McGregor said that a number of pre-orders for the Civic performance halo were already being held by Honda dealers, despite customers not yet knowing pricing and specification levels.
Of course, it’s manual transmission only, so that will appeal to a certain market. We know there’s a manual transmission market.
“We had a CR-V launch with dealers last week and all of them were talking about the fact that customers were coming in and expressing early interest,” he said. “We think, roughly, we are holding anywhere up to around 200 pre-orders for Type R as we speak today.
“To the point where we are actually going to be opening the official order books early so we can make sure, in terms of colours and things, we are going to be right in terms of stock for when that car actually arrives.
“We are really excited about this car. We know it is going to add a halo to the Civic brand that has been missing for a little while.”
Mr Collins confirmed that the order books will officially open alongside the release of full details and pricing in June. However, dealers will be advised of the spicy hatch's basic specification and paint colour options later this month so that potential buyers can be informed well in advance.
Despite declining to reveal any official sales targets for the returning Type R, he did foreshadow that the new model will not be subjected to any supply constraints when it goes on sale.
“I think at this stage, we are sort of not going into the detail of our volumes, but we want it to be a car that we sell reasonable volumes of,” Mr Collins said. “I think we’re talking more than 100 a month sort of thing.
“Now, as you know those type of cars have a good period early on and tend to fall off quite steeply.
“So at this stage we’re not committed to any volumes, but we want to make it seen on the road. We want to see cars out there. And of course, it’s manual transmission only, so that will appeal to a certain market. We know there’s a manual transmission market. So at this stage we haven’t finalised the volumes.”
As previously reported, the Civic Type R will be powered by a 2.0-litre VTEC turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine which produces 235kW and 400Nm. As aforementioned, the powerplant is paired exclusively to a six-speed manual gearbox.
The latest Type R is already making a name for itself after completing the Nurburgring circuit in a record 7 minutes and 43.8 seconds last month, which is the fastest lap yet for a FWD production vehicle.