Don’t Hold Your Breath for the Civic Type R

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Honda has a recent history of ignoring fans who’ve been begging for performance models, but that’s about to change when the new Civic Type R arrives in the U.S. But exactly when is that?

The bad news is, it’s not soon.

After announcing at the New York Auto Show that the new Type R would in fact come to the U.S., American Honda Motor Co. Executive Vice President John Mendel confirmed during a round-table discussion that it won’t be a 2016 model.

Will it be a 2017? “It could be an ’18 by the time it gets here,” admitted Mendel, though he said he hopes not.

“You can’t say we never listen. We almost never listen,” joked Mendel.

SEE ALSO: 2016 Honda Civic First Look

Rumors have suggested that the US-spec Civic Type R could be different car from the European one. That seems unlikely, especially as Honda has confirmed the European-market Civic 5-door hatchback (the basis for the Type R) is already headed to our shores.

Honda-Civic-Type-RWe put that question to Mendel and asked if the model that eventually makes its way to US shores will be significantly different from the European one. “No,” he said. “You’re looking at the same concept that the Civic Type R has always been.”

“As you go to global development processes, the differences from market to market in terms of crash and requirements start to converge,” said Mendel. “So you don’t have a vehicle developed for one market that doesn’t meet the standards of another market. As you are able to commonize all those things around the world, and a US-led development for this vehicle (the 2016 Honda Civic), we kind of spec’d through the higher standards.”

Pricing isn’t something Mendel was willing to discuss yet but he indicated that a major factor will have to do with the British Pound vs U.S. Dollar exchange rate at the time, with the new Type R being manufactured in the UK.

“I’d hope we could sell a couple thousand a month,” he said, promising not to put a cap on sales.

Another Turbocharged Honda

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But before the new Type R finally arrives Honda will offer a different turbocharged Civic to U.S. customers. On sale later this year the 10th generation Civic sedan will launch first and will come with a new 1.5-liter turbocharged VTEC engine. “It will be in the higher trims, at least initially,” said Mendel with base models receiving a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder.

Lighter than the outgoing car, Mendel said it’s one of the fastest refreshes the automaker has ever made, a particularly impressive feat considering it’s also one of the most complex.

SEE ALSO: 10 Sports Cars the Civic Type R Beat Around the Nürburgring

He wouldn’t comment on how much of a diet the new car has undergone, but did tout its sportiness and a return to what Honda fans remember, while also commenting that when it comes to the interior, “you’re going to be blown away.”

Honda-Civic-Type-R-37“I just read the articles in magazines you guys write that say we’ve lost our way; we’ve lost our sportiness,” he said. “I don’t think we were as sporty in this last generation as we once were.”

In response to demand, Mendel says Honda is, “taking the Civic back in a direction more towards where it started.”

“It’s what you guys have been asking for,” he said.

Are More Performance Hondas Coming?

After the launch of the new Civic, Honda will put the focus on practical machines, with the debut of a new Odyssey and Ridgeline. Mendel cautions that one product doesn’t signify a shift at Honda but did say that, “I’d like to think that the announcement of Type R would beget a trend…”

Discuss this story at our 10th Generation Honda Civic forum

  • Guest

    The reason it’s coming so late is that Honda may want to use the new global platform for the new Type R before it gets here. In that case, it means selling the Euro hatch here until it has run out its life cycle. Then, when the redesign comes around in 2018, the new hatch and new Type R based on the global platform will be sent here.

    Conversely, it may be possible that the Euro hatch won’t be sold here until it is redesigned with the global platform. It might come to the US a few months before the Type R does

  • Rickers

    Oh man. I don’t like the sounds of this. Honda delaying cool cars is basically what they’ve done for two decades now.

  • ColumWood

    That’s certainly a possibility. Regardless, it’s interesting that Mendel indicated the new Type R will be made in the UK.

  • Phil

    so im confused. I thought we’d be getting the next euro hatch based on the 10th gen platform … but according to this article, Mendel says we’re getting the current 9th gen euro hatch … so dealers will have a 9th gen hatch and 10th gen sedan n coupe in their lots for 2016?? or we dont know yet?

  • TypeRFan

    Saw this story on Jalopnik. You guys have a mighty fine site here.

  • ColumWood

    We honestly don’t know. It seemed like Mendel was saying the 9th Gen Type R hatch is what we’re getting, but he didn’t SPECIFICALLY say that. And if there’s wiggle room, they’ll wiggle.

  • sephiroth_4

    I smell an Acura ilx or tlx Type-S coming before the civic Type-R. Either way, I’m ready and my tsx is wagging her tail for a friend.

  • hwnhatch

    Nowhere did he mention the 9th gen… why would they announce the highest performing type r coming to the US then try to peddle some sub par hatch on us? the 9th gen isn’t up to US standards anyway…

  • dren

    The new 10th gen 5-door will be built in Swindon on this new global platform. We will receive those. They probably haven’t finished designing the new 5-door yet. That is likely the delay in getting the Type-R in the States, because it will be made at the Swindon plant.
    I’m hoping the Si will receive the same 2.0t engine, but detuned. I’d much rather have this coupe with the turbo than the 5-door.

  • Felix James

    An ILX performance model would be sweet! The new version is already better, but it could use more.

  • sephiroth_4

    It will be done! Acura here in the states trends to take all Honda glory first for tech, then trickle to Honda auto. Bring IT!

  • Dying_in_this_Crap_World

    Waiting for another the Next DEL SOL!

  • cash

    Honda needs to gimtrpdictiprogram and 3rd evaluate their cars and go back to the speed, style
    , and allow the buyer to choose each version that they want. Basically eagle to have the factory build and offer the U.S. and everyone else what they want. Such as no matter what model of car they want, they should be able to choose to have the upgraded power and style inside and out. Such as being able to get a base model such as the CRZ, the Fit, Accord, civic, etc. Honda should also bring back the del sol, the prelude. Obviously Honda should offer Hondata as an option. Also hond Honda needs to bring back type R, mugen, spoon upgrades and apply optional to all models and Honda needs to offer the buyer those options to choose the style and edition they want instead of buying a down graded si and end up rebuilding the motor swapping all kinds of parts and basically turning the Honda into something that Honda could build easily and either would score hella points with the Honda enthusiast. Of course still build the base models and everying but the really need to re think their approach and give the community what they want.
    As the FRS and BRZ that the other companies built. Man up Honda you made the s2000 Honda didn’t get the respect they deserve and it’s time Honda puts their foot down and shows the world who really inspired that FRS and BRZ. Honda did it first all Honda has to do is throw in a more powerful motor and adjust a few things then they woilsnt have a chance against the s2000. Which this car should be the s2000 type R or RR or Mugen R.
    Just a suggestion and I believe many would agree.
    Honda changed the car industry with their suspensions And their huge VTEC introduction then they Added VTC. Honda by far has the knowledge and ability to build and inovate and totally change the game cause Honda has so many possibilities to bring then back to the too and to work with the buyers to give them the perfect car simply by working with customers to build them the car they are happy with and will pay a fair price for. Everyone who buys a car from any company eventually modifies their car or ends up selling it caise it isn’t to their liking . now days it’s all about quanity not quality when it should be quality not quantity