Honda gave us a glimpse at the 11th-generation Civic sedan as a prototype, confirming that it’ll be available as sedan, hatchback, Si, and Type R models. We’re most excited about the latter, not only because the current-gen Type R is one of our favorite hot hatches but because, as previewed by the 2020 sedan prototype, the new model will have a more mature appearance compared with the current model’s more obnoxious, juvenile looks. And it should be more powerful.
That new look—much like the kid who returns from summer break having outgrown the braces, greasy hair, and zits—will mature, borrowing design cues from the Accord. And, because it will wear the coveted red “R” badge, it’ll have added aero, 20-inch wheels, crepe-thin sidewalls, an obnoxious yet functional rear wing, rear diffuser, and multiple pipes out back. We’re hoping for fewer fake air vents, though, which is likely. One thing is for sure: it will be a welcome improvement over the previous model, and maybe we’ll actually want to be seen behind the wheel.
The current-gen car is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that spins up 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque that’s sent to the front wheels through a standard six-speed manual transmission. And that’s the only option. We expect that Honda will keep using the turbo four but make some tweaks to make more power, and we hope it has a better soundtrack. There have been rumors about a hybrid all-wheel-drive powertrain, but we think it’s unlikely—at least at launch. Honda confirmed the Type R, as well as the Si, will retain three pedals, and the automaker didn’t rule out a quick-shifting dual-clutch automatic transmission, either—something the Veloster N now has.
It’ll use an evolution of the current car’s chassis, which means we likely won’t see a control-arm front suspension like the new TLX, but rather an improvement of the dual-axis strut front suspension. The new car’s dimensions won’t change much, either. Honda only stretched the 11th-generation car’s wheelbase a little over an inch, and its height and width are unchanged. The prototype was shown sitting on a set of Michelin Pilot Super Sports, likely the Si’s new standard tire, while the Type R should get higher-performance rubber.
Also previewed on the prototype, the interior will be more upscale compared to the current car, which is adorned with fake carbon fiber, red trim, and other hard plastics. It’ll have a digital gauge cluster along with a 9.0-inch central touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. But while the dashboard may look sleeker, we’re still expecting the fake carbon-fiber trim to remain in the Type R. Honda added a classic aluminum teardrop-shaped shifter to the current car for 2020, so expect that to stick around.
The 2022 Honda Civic will arrive late next spring, and we could see the Type R by the end of the year or early 2022. Expect pricing to rise only slightly from the 2021 model’s $38,450 starting price, staying just under $40,000.
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