Honda is preparing to spice up the regular Civic hatch – and give the Type R an understudy – with the six-speed manual RS, but it appears to be a Japan exclusive.
The gap between the regular Honda Civic and high-performance Type R may finally be filled in right-hand-drive markets with a new RS model, unveiled as a prototype.
While it has been confirmed for Japanese showrooms between September and November, Honda says the Civic RS – sold with a manual transmission only – is not planned for Australia.
Few details of the Civic RS have been revealed, however, it is pitched as a sportier version of the standard 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Civic hatch – rather than a lightly watered-down version of the extreme 2.0-liter Type R.
The 2024 Honda Civic Rs Headed To Japan As Type R Hot Hatch’s Distant Cousin
The RS badge is currently used by Honda in Australia, Thailand and other markets to denote sportier looks but no changes to engine power or handling.
Honda in the US already sells the Civic Si sedan, which adds a more powerful 149kW/260Nm version of the 1.5-litre engine – up from 134kW/240Nm – plus stiffer suspension, larger brakes, a sports exhaust, and mild styling tweaks.
It remains to be seen if the RS adopts this engine tune to deliver on what Honda claims are “further refinements to the joy of driving.”
Visual differences compared to the regular Civic hatch include a sportier front bumper with a larger central air intake, RS badges, and a black finish for the 18-inch alloy wheels in the same design as the standard car.
Japanese magazine Best Car claims the front brake discs are slightly larger – shared with the Civic e: HEV hybrid at 293x25mm, up from 282x23mm – and the turbo engine will be boosted to 147kW, however, Honda is yet to confirm these details.
More details on the 2024 Honda Civic RS are due closer to its Japanese launch in the northern autumn of this year (September to November).
A Honda Australia spokesperson told Drive the company has “no current plans to bring [the Civic RS] to the Australian market at this time.”
Hottest Honda Hatchback of 2024 – Civic Type R
Previous incarnations of this list have placed the Type R Civic in a very respectable place, but the new FL5 is so good that it goes straight to the top of the hot-hatch rankings. Sure, on paper, it looks very expensive and not much more powerful than the previous FK8, but that in no way tells the story.
It’s better and more fun in just about every way, from the quality of the interior and the way it looks to the way it drives. OK, we’re mostly interested in the way it drives.
Unlike in the FK8, you can fiddle around with the FL5’s settings to your heart’s content. Want the softest suspension with the most hardcore engine setting? No problem. You can tune it to any type of driving, and it’s wonderful – stiff yet supple, boisterous yet mature enough for everyday driving.
The grip and poise through the bends are astounding, but it’s not just technically good, it FEELS good too. You get more engagement in this Type R than ever, aided by a tremendous, short-shifting six-speed manual gearbox. Learn more here.
Honda Civic Type R Highlights
- Performance: 315-hp, 2.0L Turbocharged VTEC® Engine paired with a 6-speed manual transmission, and a 4-Mode drive system.
- Exterior: Large grille opening, low hood vent, aerodynamic spoilers, matte-black wheels, and integrated fenders.
- Interior: Wide sightlines, sport seats, sport pedals, and Civic Type R accessories and badging.
- Technology: Honda LogR® Datalogger, Wireless Apple CarPlay®, Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™, and Wireless Phone Charger.
- Honda Sensing: Road Departure Mitigation System, Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking System™, and more.
With power upgrades on their way and a new dual-clutch automatic transmission for rapid-fire shifts, the 2023 Honda Civic Type R will be defined by the word “fast.”
Is the Honda Civic Type R Only Manual?
The first Civic Type R was the third model to receive Honda’s Type R badge (after the NSX and Integra). Type R versions of the Civic typically feature a lightened and stiffened body, specially tuned engine, and upgraded brakes and chassis, and are offered only in five- or six-speed manual transmission.
This formidable combination delivers an impressive 315 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, propelling you to a top track speed of 170 MPH. The 6-speed automatic transmission is meticulously crafted to optimize the power-to-weight ratio, ensuring responsive and agile acceleration.
Only 48,000 or so Civic Type R cars were produced and sold around the world, among them 20,000 in the US.
The new 2023 Honda Civic Type R is the fastest production Civic ever made. It comes with a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produces 315hp. With the new CTR six-speed manual transmission in full sync, the car goes from 0-60mph in 5.0 seconds.
So, it’s not really uncommon that the Honda Civic Type RS is headed to Japan as Type R. What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments. Also, share our article with others. It will help us grow too.
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