After a yearlong tease that kicked off with a concept at the 2014 Geneva show, Honda has finally rolled out the production version of its hottest of hatches, the Civic Type R, at this year's Swiss affair. Unfortunately for enthusiasts in the U.S., the tease continues, as this Civic Type R, like previous versions, is not expected to come stateside. But allow us to torment you with details of Honda's mightiest mite anyway.
The first-ever turbocharged Type R is powered by a 2.0-liter direct-injected turbo VTEC four-cylinder, which spins out 306 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 295 lb-ft of torque at 2500 rpm-both of which are the highest-ever figures for a Honda Type R model-and hits redline at 7000 rpm. (Yes, we know, that redline is down considerably from the ultra-high-revving VTEC engines in past Type Rs.) As befits its hard-core nature, a six-speed manual is the only transmission offering; the shifter is topped by a machined aluminum knob. Honda claims that the new Type R rockets from 0 to 62 mph in 5.7 seconds and that it can achieve a top speed of 168 mph.
Besides turbocharging, the new Civic Type R brings other new tech in the form of adjustable dampers with four modes. A "+R" button on the left side of the instrument cluster-directly opposite the "Engine Start" button on the right-not only puts the dampers in their firmest setting, but also tightens the steering and sharpens throttle response.
The chassis also boasts Brembo brakes with 13.8-inch front rotors and four-piston calipers. The 19-inch wheels-in black with a red pinstripe-are wrapped with ultra-low-profile 235/35 tires. A so-called Dual Axis Strut Front Suspension similar to Ford's RevoKnuckle and GM's HiPer Strut-utilizes two supporting kingpins in an effort to mitigate torque steer on the front-wheel-drive-only Type R. The rear suspension utilizes a torsion beam with an H-shaped section for greater rigidity, and the steering is a rack-mounted, electrically assisted system.
The Type R looks the part, with extensive aerodynamic updates including a flat underbody tray, a deep air dam punctuated by a low front splitter, functional front-fender outlet vents, a rear diffuser, and a towering rear wing. An optional GT Pack adds red accents to the front and rear spoiler, as well as a host of safety and convenience features (such as navigation, parking sensors, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, fancier audio, dual-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers, and more).
The cabin is outfitted with high-back sport seats featuring black faux suede with red stitching. There's additional red stitching on the steering wheel, which also features a red centering band at the top. Behind that, the driver sees a unique instrument cluster.
It all sounds good-really good. So why can't we have it? One reason is that this Type R uses as its starting point the European Civic four-door hatchback, which is not same as the U.S. model. Could the U.S. Civic be upfitted with the Type R equipment? Maybe, but Honda is mum on the idea, and it's unknown whether it could happen even for the next-generation Civic. What is sure, however, is that we'll eventually see this 2.0-liter turbocharged engine-although not necessarily in this muscular state of tune-if not in a Civic Type R, then in some other model, possibly an Acura.