Cold shoul­der for hot hatch

The Advertiser - Motoring - - NEWS - JOSHUA DOWL­ING NA­TIONAL MO­TOR­ING EDITOR

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).

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