Raise your hand if you miss the days when performance variants of mainstream models (think BMW E30 M3, Lancia Delta HF Integrale etc.) showed their racing pedigree with puffed up bodies, air outlets and wings suitable for lift off. I, for one, do, and find Honda's new Civic Type R Concept, the first real photos of which we see here, a visual treat.
If Honda does keep the body styling intact on the production car (sorry, North America, you're not included in the list...) that will follow next year – and the prototypes we’ve seen so far certainly hint at that, it will no doubt draw a lot of attention on the new Civic Type R.
However, there's more to Honda's scorching hot hatch than its aggressive looks, which by the way, were inspired from the Civic WTCC race car, as the Type R will be the first production model from the Japanese firm to use its newly developed series of turbocharged VTEC gasoline engines.
Honda says the 2.0-liter force-fed inline four will produce "more than 280-horses", with brand CEO Takanobu Ito having stated that their goal is to crack the current record for the fastest lap around the Nürburgring for a series production, front-wheel drive hatch, currently held by the 265hp Renault Megane 265 Trophy at 8:07.97.
Further details about the Civic Type R Concept will be released at the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday.
By John Halas