Honda‘s next-gen front-wheel drive hot hatch remains a work in progress, but its launch draws near…

    Honda has released official imagery of its next-generation Civic Type R during testing at Suzuka Circuit in Japan.

    The 5.8 kilometre circuit is known for its high-speed chicanes and challenging corners, along with its distinctive figure-of-eight layout.

    This testing at Suzuka Circuit is the latest in Honda’s testing regime of the Civic Type R ahead of its official reveal in 2022.

    The whole prototype is still covered in a camouflage wrap that features silhouette outlines of previous-generation Civic Type R models. It’s yet to be seen without this camouflage.

    At the front there’s a clean central air intake with simple bumper inserts in comparison to the outgoing model’s fussy low-set intakes.

    There’s an ankle-breaking splitter and swollen guards, complete with a vent on the back of the front arches to lessen pressure at high speeds.

    Honda made a big deal of the fact the last Civic Type R created real downforce and it’s expected this one will be no different.

    The swollen guards are matched with unique side skirts, which are no doubt similar to those on the outgoing Type R.

    At the back, the biggest news is the new rear wing. Unlike the current unit, it’s mounted on slim, motorsports-inspired struts and sits higher on the boot lid.

    It’s not quite swan-neck spoiler of the new Porsche 911 GT3, but it’s definitely a hot-hatch equivalent.

    Down below the wing are three exhaust pipes that are similar to the outgoing model, except the middle exhaust tip is now larger than the two flanking it.

    Pictured: Civic Type R prototype at the Nurburgring

    They’re surrounded by a diffuser that appears to potentially contribute towards the overall downforce of the car, rather than just being there for aesthetics.

    Like before, the new Civic Type R will be petrol-powered and have a six-speed manual transmission.

    Honda is expected to slot an evolution of the current 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the bonnet. At the moment it produces 228kW of power and 400Nm of torque.

    The interior of the new Civic Type R is yet to be seen, although if you take the 2022 Civic interior and throw in a red-and-black steering wheel, a metal gear knob, and a set of deep bucked seats, you’ve likely got a good idea of how it’ll look.

    The upcoming Type R has been spied and teased a number of times now, also being snapped at the Nurburgring.

    In 2017, the previous-generation Civic Type R toppled the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S front the front-drive lap record with a 7:43.8 lap of the Nordschleife in its “final phase of testing”.

    It was usurped by the Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R with a 7:40.1 in 2019. Although the Trophy-R is a stripped-out hot hatch with no rear seats and a roll cage, it’s still technically a production model.

    Although it’s not confirmed, Honda could be gearing up for a similar lap record run with its new-generation Civic Type R.

    When the new Civic Type R model arrives, it’ll sit alongside the all-new Civic hatch and HR-V SUV in a revitalised Honda Australia range.

    The standard Civic model has already touched down in Australia and is only available in top-of-the-range VTi-L specification at launch, costing $47,200 drive-away.

    A hybrid option will follow in the second half of 2022.

    It’s expected the hotter Type R variant will arrive in Australia in late 2022 and will bring the fight to the Volkswagen Golf R and Ford Focus ST.

    MORE: Everything Honda Civic

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

    Buy and Lease
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers