Montreal, QC – A new hot hatch model displayed at any auto show is an exhilarating experience for most car enthusiasts. Now, throw the compact car hub of Montreal into the mix and there's no way Honda could lose by picking the Montreal Auto Show for the Canadian premiere of the 2018 Honda Civic Type R.
“The Honda Civic, as well as hatchbacks, are dear to the Montreal market so it only makes sense to bring our flagship Civic to the show,” said Hayato Mori, Senior Manager, Product Planning & Business Development at Honda Canada.
The Civic Type R has long been available in other global regions, starting with Japan in 1997, but it has yet to reach North America due to stringent crash and emissions testing requirements. Its last version was back in 2007, so the prototype displayed at the Montreal Auto Show has been a long time coming.
Honda Canada has been tight lipped about details of the new Type R but. according to Mori, the production version will be really close to this prototype.
So far, there's only been speculation about what’s under the hood but th hot hatch is expected to be propelled by Honda's turbocharged, VTEC 2.0-litre inline-four, which could surpass the previous iteration’s 300 hp rating.
If that's the case, the front-wheel-drive Type R should be able to toggle through its six-speed manual transmission – the only transmission offered – for a 0-100 km/h time quicker than its predecessor’s 5.7 seconds.
As with any good hot hatch, the sports-tuned Type R will be light on weight with a focus on power and handling. It will use an adaptive suspension, limited-slip differential and large Brembo brakes that go with equally-aggressive 20-inch rims.
The aggressive nature of the Civic Type R doesn't stop with the functional bits – it looks the part, too, like a regular Civic hatch on steroids. It all starts with a bold front fascia that sets the tone with a larger grille, sleek and slanted LED headlights and a hood scoop.
The rest of its kit includes plenty of carbon fibre pieces, large side air intakes, a mid-mounted tri-exhaust outlet and an enormous rear wing that gets the attention it deserves.
These modifications have a two-fold purpose: to make it look hardcore and simultaneously aid in aerodynamics.
To add further flair, Honda has traditionally gone with red accents throughout, including the background of its front “H” badge.
The prototype is finished with a brushed aluminum-effect but that colour won’t make the cut when it goes into production. Instead, Mori has confirmed to us, the Type R's trademark ‘Championship White’ colour will be available, along with several other unique hues. The Championship White colour is an homage to its original 1968-69 Honda Formula One car.
Pricing has not been released yet; we can expect it closer to the car’s production release in late spring. Its main rival will be the Ford Focus RS, which starts north of $48,000, so it’s reasonable to assume we're looking at similar pricing for the 2018 Honda Civic Type R.