The global reveal of the next-generation 2023 Honda Civic Type R is getting closer.

    The new Honda hot hatch will be revealed during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer, and it’s already proving just as much of a track beast as its outgoing sibling.

    A development prototype of the new Civic Type R hot hatch has set a front-wheel drive car lap record at Suzuka International Racing Course (Suzuka Circuit) with a 2:23.12 lap time.

    This broke the previous record held by the lightweight, specially-tuned 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition by 0.873 seconds.

    This is notable because this new Civic Type R is expected to be just the regular version, whereas the previous record holder was a completely stripped out, track-focused model.

    Once it’s here the new Civic Type R will compete against the upcoming Toyota GR Corolla, Cupra Leon VZx, and Volkswagen Golf R, as well as the Hyundai i30 N, Renault Megane R.S. Trophy and Audi S3, among others.

    Like before, the new Civic Type R is expected to 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. In the previous model it produced 228kW of power and 400Nm of torque.

    MORE: 2023 Toyota GR Corolla performance specs compared with its biggest rivals

    This new-generation Honda Civic Type R has been seen with the same camouflage wrap since October 2021 and it’s yet to be seen without it.

    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 front splitter and swollen wheel arches, 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 previous unit, it’s mounted on slim, motorsports-inspired struts and sits higher on the bootlid.

    It’s not quite the 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 previous model, except the middle tip is now larger than the two flanking it.

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

    Only part of the interior can be seen during the Suzuka lap record video on YouTube, but it’s expected to take the existing 2022 Honda Civic interior and most likely add a red-and-black steering wheel, metal gear knob, and a set of deep bucket seats.

    When the new Civic Type R arrives locally, it’ll sit alongside the new, regular Civic hatch and the new-generation HR-V SUV.

    The standard Civic is already available and the new HR-V is set to launch in Honda centres (showrooms) on April 19, 2022.

    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.

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