Once upon a time, “forbidden fruit” dotted the global automotive landscape. These legendary special-edition cars were reserved by automakers for only certain markets.
In most instances, the US was not one of them.
Names such as the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, the Subaru Impreza WRX STI, and the Nissan Skyline GT-R come to mind.
Because of globalization, these models are now widely available around the world.
On Tuesday, the world got a little smaller once again.
At the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, Honda unveiled its 10th-generation Civic Type R, which will finally be available in the US.
“The fastest, most powerful Honda ever sold in America, the Type R caps off the incredible success story of our 10th-generation Civic lineup,” Jeff Conrad, a senior vice president at American Honda Motor Co., said in a statement. “We’re happy to inform our US enthusiasts that the long wait for the forbidden fruit of Honda Type R performance is nearly over.”
The Type R, long regarded as one of the kingpins of the hot-hatch market, is expected to live up to its lofty reputation.
Under the hood of the five-door hatchback is an Ohio-built, 2.0 liter, turbocharged inline-four-cylinder engine pushing out 306 horsepower and 295 pounds per foot of torque. The powerful engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission driving the front wheels through a limited-slip differential.
Performance upgrades on the Type R include a brand-new Dual-Axis front suspension, adaptive steering, and four-wheel adaptive dampers. In addition, Honda has stiffed the new Type R’s body by as much as 45% while reducing weight by 35 pounds.
Inside, the Civic Type R is available with a touch-screen infotainment system; a 12-speaker, 540-watt stereo; and heavily bolstered sports seats.
Developed at Germany’s Nürburgring race track, the Civic Type R will compete directly against Ford’s Focus RS and Volkswagen’s Golf R.
The 2017 Honda Civic Type R will go on sale this spring in the US with a price tag in the mid-$30,000s.