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New Honda Civic Type R FL8 leaks ahead of July 21 reveal of “most powerful, best performing” version yet

 
Zak Adkins
Journalist

The highly-anticipated follow-up to the outgoing FK8 Civic Type R is days away from being revealed


Honda is slowly pulling back the covers on the next version of its halo hot hatch: the Civic Type R.

A new image has been released revealing the very shadow-covered front end of the new Type R – dubbed the FL8 by reports, which will be based upon the 11th-generation Civic platform. 

But a grainy screenshot of what appears to be the production version of the FL5 Type R has also been posted online about a week out from the car’s official reveal on July 21.

The new generation Type R at the track

The outgoing FK8 Civic Type R was revered as possibly the best example yet of the long-running front-wheel drive superhatch and was the only undefeated vehicle in the history of Australia’s Motor magazine which regrettably closed shop this month.

Honda is celebrating 50 years of its Civic small car this week – and part of the half-century celebration will be the reveal of the FL8 Type R.

Honda has sold 27 million Civics since 1972 in over 170 countries. The Type R brand will celebrate its 30 year anniversary in November 2022. 

Honda Civic Type R 2022 rear
Styling could be slightly more subtle than the FK8

What do we know about the FL8 Type R so far?

We already know about the new Civic Type R’s successes at the Nurburgring, setting a one second quicker time than the outgoing FK8 Civic Type R

We have also seen that the new Civic Type R is unlikely to be anywhere near as outrageous in its styling as the FK8 model, and could take a much more subdued and subtle look for 2023. 

Chasing Cars originally estimated that the new Type R would have very similar outputs to the FK8 model that was well respected by both the general public and the Australian motoring press – but Honda says the FL8 will be the most powerful version yet.

2023 Honda Civic Type R
The 2023 Honda Civic Type R was leaked just days before its reveal

That means outputs will grow from the existing car’s 228kW of power and 400Nm of torque – potentially toward 240kW/450Nm.

This will be achieved by various hardware and software changes to the 2.0-litre turbocharged unit, likely including a revised engine tune, exhaust routing and intake system – in combination with upping boost pressures for the turbo-four.

The new Civic Type R will continue to do battle with other halo-hatches in the market, from the value-focussed Hyundai i30 N (from $44,500 before on-road costs) to the all-wheel drive Volkswagen Golf R ($65,990) and even the Mercedes-AMG A45 S superhatch ($99,985).

2022 Volkswagen Golf R
The new Type R will compete with serious hot hatches like the Volkswagen Golf R

Cost-wise, the outgoing FK8 Type R was most recently priced at $54,990  in Australia, after a steady series of price increases from the car’s introductory tag of $50,990

Visually, the Type R’s camouflaged press pictures show the car sporting different sized exhaust outlets, which could mean more sound, however it is more likely to help reduce back-pressure losses and aid performance instead.

What made the outgoing FK8 Type R so good?

When Chasing Cars editor and founder Tom Baker drove the FK8 Civic Type R four years ago at the hot hatchback’s launch, he lauded the feisty hot hatch for its “superb front end grip, punchy turbo four-pot and surprisingly livable ride”, but said it needed more aural character and that it wasn’t as quick as the Ford Focus RS, one of the Civic Type R’s biggest competitors at the time. 

Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition 2021 rear
The Honda Civic Type R has been regarded as one of the very best hot hatches

Tom said that the Civic Type R’s limits were “just enormous” and “will exceed the abilities of most drivers”. Tom expressed that the car would make for a great long-term learning experience “as you learn how far you can push it”. 

But our Ed was far from alone with these thoughts, with Australian motoring journalist Scott Newman from Motor writing at the time that “(The Type R) is one of the most impressive, rewarding performance front-drivers we’ve driven and a car that’s going to prove a stern test for the current hot hatch hierarchy”.

The FK8 Type R won Motor’s performance car of the year award in 2018 and surprised a lot of people, with the Motor team remarking that “it’s a surprise packet. An engineering achievement and the performance Honda of the decade”.  

Civic Si driving
The Civic Si which is built for the American market

What about dynamics such as chassis, suspension or aero work?

In terms of aerodynamics, the somewhat controversial rear wing will be staying, however the rest of the Civic’s looks could be toned down when compared to the boy-racer styled FK8 Type R. 

Suspension improvements are likely to be subtle considering the last version’s successes, but it will be interesting to see how Honda tweaks the hot hatch to be an even sharper driving tool. 

Will the Honda Civic Type R still be built in the United Kingdom?

We look forward to experiencing the new Type R in the near future!

Interestingly, the high-performance Honda Civic Type R has been built in the Honda Swindon plant since 2001, when the production of the Type R moved there from Japan. Every Type R since 2001 has been built at the Swindon plant, including the most recent FK8 Type R.

However, the new Type R will not be built at the Swindon plant, which shut down permanently on 30 July, 2021, so it begs the question: where will the new Civic Type R be manufactured?

The 11th-generation Civic platform is built in lots of places, despite many people believing that most, if not all, of Honda’s products are built solely in their homeland of Japan. The Honda Civic is also built in the  United States, Canada, China, Pakistan and Malaysia.

So where will the Type R performance variant be built? The warm-hatch Honda Civic Si has been built in North America since 1986, and the newest version is built in Ontario, Canada, so it makes us think that Canada could be the new home of the Honda Civic Type R, if not built in Japan. 

Honda Civic 2022: prices in Australia 

All prices listed are driveaway.

  • VTi LX (1.5-litre turbo petrol): $47,200 driveaway
  • E:HEV hybrid: TBA
  • Type R: TBA