Honda wants to cover the entire hot hatch spectrum.Honda's long-awaited performance push will include more variants of the Civic Type R."We're hoping that by gradually putting out more [variants] we'll be able to maintain a more stable sales volume," explained Hideki Matsumoto, the chief engineer for the Civic range, in an interview with Automotive News.
Honda wanted to launch the new Civic Type R (pictured) in its original configuration. It just barely went on sale in the United States, so it's too early to tell what's next. However, Matsumoto provided insight into how the hot-rodded Civic could evolve over the course of its life cycle.
One possible off-shoot is a more hardcore version with a more powerful engine. It's unclear how much power engineers can squeeze out of the hatchback's 2.0-liter turbo four, which currently makes 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
At the other end of the spectrum, Matsumoto told Automotive News Honda could build a toned-down version of the car "focused more on the grand touring aspect" of driving. The model would appeal to a wider target audience, which indicates it would likely be cheaper than the regular model, less powerful, or both.
Finally, Honda could build an all-wheel drive version of the Type R to better compete against the Ford Focus RS -- which is getting axed after the 2018 model year -- and the Volkswagen Golf R.
The additional Type R variants will be released gradually to keep interest in the car strong, so the first one is at least a year away from landing in showrooms.
Photos by Drew Johnson.