Cold shoulder for hot hatch
HONDA has shelved plans to brings its hottest hatch of all time — the new turbocharged Civic Type R — to Australia.
The new Type R went on sale in Europe and Britain earlier this year and was due in Australia some time next year. However, Honda Australia has since ruled out the flagship model because it would have arrived about the same time as the nextgeneration Civic sedan.
The Europeans and Brits get a completely different type of Civic to the US and Asia-Pacific.
Australia currently imports both types of Civics — British- built hatches and sedans from Thailand — but in future it wants to streamline its range.
“As much as we would love to have it, unfortunately we won’t get this Civic Type R,” says Honda Australia director Stephen Collins.
“It arrives too late in the model cycle for us. We will have the next generation Civic sedan by the time it would have arrived.”
Diehard Honda enthusiasts would be eager to drive the car that has the European motoring media in a lather. It almost defeated the more expensive VW Golf R in Top Gear’s annual hot hatch shootout and ranked higher than nine other contenders.
Australians will now need to wait at least another three years for a Type R version of the nextgeneration Civic.
Collins says we will get that mode but can’t confirm what engine will power it, what it will look like or where it will be built.
The current Type R is the most powerful iteration to date, its 2.0-litre turbo producing an astonishing 228kW of power and 400Nm of torque.
With a claimed 0-100km/h time of 5.7 seconds, it is faster than the Golf GTI, Renault Megane RS and Ford Focus ST.
It has also lapped Germany’s famed Nurburgring racetrack faster than any other front-drive road-going hot hatch (7:50.63, to save you searching the web).