Just a few hours left until the official launch of the new Civic Type-R Concept, as they call it – but we mostly know that this one will be also the one that will hit the showrooms – ladies and gents, the new R baby from Honda is almost here.
She is described by the design team as a ‘racing car for the road’ rather than a high performance version of a road car – she is not coming with the most extreme CV or not even she’s not set to break all the records on the hot-hatches market (probably just the sales record, which is indeed a good thing). But she’s bringing something new on the market, and this time I am not talking just about design.
“Type R represents Honda’s racing spirit. It is built with a passion for motorsport.”
Masaru Hasegawa – Chief Stylist, Civic Type R
This appearance at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show is something big for the Japanese constructor, indeed – not only the new Civic Type-R will be released, but also the new Castrol Civic will be revealed, version that will take its well deserved place in the WTCC competition.
As we already know it, the Type-R will be the first Honda that will feature one of the newest VTEC turbo-charged engines developed by the Japanese constructor, with a total output declared around 280 HP. So goodbye aspirated VTEC, welcome into the new era, which is not that new for Honda, if we take a far look behind…
Although turbo engines have not been seen in Honda’s production lines in Europe for some time, this is not something new for the Nippon company – Honda’s first turbo engine was seen in 1988 – the RA168E used in Formula One, which brought new heights for the Japanese constructor the most race victories (15 out of 16), the most Constructors points (199) and the most one-two finishes (10).
But the turbo-mania doesn’t stop here, because Honda featured the setup – or something similar – for some of the cars they sold outside the European market – the 1988 Honda Legend was equipped with a 2.0-litre 24-valve V6 engine with a variable “Wing Turbo” that could regulate exhaust stream and efficiently utilize charging pressure, followed by some Acura RDX versions, that were using combined Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) with Variable Timing Control (VTC). Also, the Japanese market had for many years the City Turbo version, which returned in 2012 under the name of N-One Turbo – 660 cmc DOHC, with a total output of 65 HP.
There are thousands of words that can be written here, stories about history and tales of the heritage behind – but one thing is for sure – Honda is bringing that quelque chose that was missing here, and I am more than anxious – in a good way – to see it in person.