Honda hasn’t done anything crazy in a long time. If you exclude the new Acura NSX and its endless development, the Civic Si has really been the only model to appeal to American enthusiasts for the last several years.
Well, if the Honda Civic Type R concept is any indicator, the tide is changing for the Japanese automaker. Revealed at the Paris Motor Show, the hottest of Honda hatches steps out in prototype form complete with triumphant looks and untold performance.
Based on the all-new Civic hatchback, the Type R prototype amps up the aesthetics with a massive rear wing, deep front intakes, carbon-fiber accents, 20-inch black alloy wheels, and a hood scoop. This screams hooligan approximately 8.5 times more than the wild Ford Focus RS.
Related: 2016 Honda Civic Coupe First Drive Review
America has never been treated to Honda’s most potent Civic, and instead always lusted after Europe’s front-wheel drive monster. For the first time, though, Honda plans to deliver a limited number of Type R’s to U.S. shores, and if this prototype closely previews production (Honda tends to show thinly veiled assembly cars as “concepts”), then the wait may have been worth it after all.
Without any confirmation on powertrain, we can still expect a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder to send more than 300 horsepower to the front wheels. That will make the Civic Type R the most powerful production FWD vehicle on sale in the U.S. (it already holds that title globally). Before we mock Honda for not switching to an all-wheel drive setup, let’s keep in mind that the Euro-only Type R hustles around the famed Nurburgring about as fast as a Lamborghini Murcielago. Yea, Honda knows what it’s doing.
Sale date and pricing are obviously still a mystery without the production body on display, but those attending this year’s SEMA show next month with get a chance to eyeball the Civic Type R concept in person.