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Honda Civic Type-R may spawn sportier CR-Z

There are plans to beef up the next Honda CR-Z to get more of a foothold in that US market.

Honda is streaming ahead with the next Civic Type-R hot hatch -- which is on the wishlist for Honda Australia, but with no confirmation yet that we'll get it here. However with the US also being a gap in the Civic Type-R markets, we could see the new car's platform being used for the second generation of the CR-Z, giving it a sports performance boost.

According to Motor Authority, the US will again miss out on the Civic Type-R because the Civic sold there is different to the rest of the world, and is positioned as an economy car -- which makes it hard to market a performance variant. So there are plans to beef up the next CR-Z to get more of a foothold in that market, and a prototype is reported to already have been built.

It's said to carry a direct-injected and turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine mated with the CR-Z’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system, developing combined power of about 165kW -- a big step up from the current CR-Z's 84kW engine and 10kW motor effort.

A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is reported to be taking over from both the CVT auto and the six-speed manual gearboxes, with the CR-Z able to be launched within two years if production is approved. Meanwhile, we'll be keeping an eye on the Civic Type-R rolling out overseas in 2015 with a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, delivering at least 210kW: a considerable 62kW more than the last version we saw here in 2011.

The new engine will use direct-fuel-injection technology rather than relying on the high revs of the previous model to generate power. Honda hasn't released performance figures yet, but with them stating they're aiming for a Nurburgring record, expect the newcomer to blast past the 2011 car's 6.6 seconds for the 0-100kmh sprint.