New versions of the Honda Civic Type R seem to come around quickly these days and summer 2017 will see the fifth generation of the model on sale.
Built like its predecessor in the UK, at Honda’s Swindon plant, the new Civic Type R is based on the tenth-generation Civic range that arrives in showrooms at the end of March.
Unlike its predecessor the requirements of the new Type R were taken account of when the mainstream Civic was at the design stage, which is the reason for its rapid reveal, even before the stock car has gone on sale.
While it uses the same 2.0-litre VTEC turbo petrol engine of the outgoing model, the new Civic Type R benefits from improvements to the powertrain. Peak power goes up 10hp to 320hp, while the torque figure remains at the same 400Nm. Honda says that work on the ECU settings has improved drivability and throttle response on the car.
Performance and economy settings for the new car are still to be released, though it is expected to be slightly faster to 62mph than the 5.7 seconds that the current Type R takes.
Criticisms levelled at the current Type R have included a view that it is a bit too extreme for a road car, and Honda appears to have made efforts to address this and produce a more versatile hot hatch. Notably the driving modes available now include a ‘Comfort’ setting alongside the traditional ‘Sport’ and ‘+R’ modes – the latter is specifically designed for use when the car is on a circuit.
The new Civic Type R is described as 38 per cent more torsionally rigid than its predecessor. It is larger in length in width and lower in height than the outgoing Type R, with a centre of gravity reduced by 34mm.
Chassis improvements over the mainstream Civic include new geometry on the Macpherson strut front suspension to minimise torque steer and maximise handling response. At the back more rigid arms are fitted to the newly designed independent multi-link system.
The aerodynamics, always a highly visual element of the Type R, are improved with a smoother underbody, front air curtain, a lightweight rear wing and vortex generators at the trailing edge of the roof line.
According to Honda the bold body styling contributes to a class-leading balance between lift and drag, contributing to greater high-speed stability.
Prices for the new model are still to be confirmed – the current Type R costs from £30,000.
Autonomous electric concept points to future vehicle usage
Also debuting on Honda’s Geneva stand is the NeuV, a battery electric concept that learns about its owner and acts accordingly.
According to its creators the NeuV (pronounced new-vee) takes advantage of the fact that most privately-owned cars spend 96 per cent of their time idle.
When not being used by its owner, the car can function as an autonomous ride-share vehicle ferrying customers. And while not in use it can feed energy back to the Grid in times of high demand, earning its owner money in the process.
The NeuV includes an ‘emotion engine’ called HANA (Honda Automated Network Assistant), which learns from the driver by detecting emotions behind their judgments. It can then apply what it has learnt from the driver’s past decisions to make new choices and recommendations.
Two people and their luggage can be carried by the NeuV, and it also provides storage space and a charging point for a ‘Kick ’n Go’ electric scooter concept to help passengers get to their final destination.