Spy photos have given us a closer look at the new Honda Civic Type R, including a glance into its all-new cabin.
The upcoming 2022 Honda Civic Type R has been spied testing in a set of new images, ahead of its Australian and overseas launches slated for sometime next year.
Following official teaser images released a fortnight ago, Honda’s next-generation hot hatch hero was snapped by our spy photography partners brimming its tank at a petrol station near Germany’s iconic Nurburgring race circuit – providing our best look yet at the new Civic Type R’s exterior, interior and mechanicals.
Wrapped in the same red and black camouflage as the teasers (adorned with silhouettes of past Type Rs), the new-generation flagship Civic adopts a more mature look than its extroverted predecessor, with smoother flared wheel arches, fewer body lines, lower-profile rear wing supports, and a smaller bonnet vent.
Typical Type R design cues are retained, however, with a large fixed rear wing, aggressive front air intakes, sporty rear diffuser and side skirts, and a trio of centre-mounted exhaust tips – with one larger pipe now situated in the centre, compared to two larger outlets surrounding one smaller unit in the outgoing car.
Looking closer at the test car reveals 19-inch wheels now fill the arches – one inch smaller than the outgoing Type R’s alloys – wrapped in 10mm-wider 255/30 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres. Brembo sports brakes hide behind, with Drive’s initial estimates suggesting the new car’s front discs are of similar diameters to the previous Type R’s 350mm units.
The spy photos also provide our first look inside the new Civic Type R’s cabin, which pairs the standard 2022 Civic’s 9.0-inch infotainment screen and 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster with a slew of sporty upgrades, including a pair of redesigned, suede-trimmed red sports seats with ‘Type R’ headrest logos, red seatbelts, and sporty metallic cutouts.
The driver grips an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, and sits beside a reworked centre console with a toggle-switch drive mode selector (incorporating a carry-over +R race mode), Alcantara centre console lid and, crucially, a manual shift lever, which features an Alcantara ‘boot’ and metallic shift knob seemingly retained from the current Type R.
No details of the new high-performance Civic’s engine have been officially confirmed, however the presence of a manual transmission and apparent lack of a charging port beneath the camouflage suggest a version of the outgoing Type R’s 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder will be used, free of the plug-in hybrid assistance rumoured in Japan.
While outputs aren’t expected to increase significantly over the current car’s 228kW and 400Nm (or 235kW in overseas markets) – as suggested by the similarly-sized brake discs – Honda could opt to add a 48-volt mild-hybrid system to cut emissions and fuel economy, while providing a small performance boost under acceleration.
However, a fully-fledged, dual-motor hybrid system would be required to comply with Honda Europe’s plan to offer full-hybrid and electric vehicles only by the end of 2022, should the Japanese car maker opt to sell the new hot hatch on the Continent.
Honda has experience with building hybrid vehicles equipped with manual transmissions, following the 2010-16 CR-Z and pioneering 1999 Insight coupes – though these models blurred the lines between ‘conventional’ Toyota-like hybrid and lesser mild-hybrid systems, as their electric motors weren’t able to drive the wheels independently.
With testing around the Nurburgring well underway, it shouldn’t be too long before buyers catch their first glimpse of the new 2022 Honda Civic Type R without camouflage, as Australian and overseas launches are slated to occur sometime in 2022.
Stay tuned to Drive for all the latest.
Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.