Spied: Bing-Winged Prototype Could be a Test Mule for the Next Honda Civic Type-R

Honda, a brand that used to be synonymous with performance cars for the masses, has toned down if not…completely erased its sporty side these past few years, something that has not gone unnoticed by consumers and fans alike. However, it seems that the Japanese automaker has received the message and is making plans to revitalize itself by returning to its roots, as evidenced by the new NSX sports car that will go on sale within the next three years. For the mainstream crowd in Europe, Japan and other markets worldwide sans North America, Honda appears to be preparing a replacement for one of its more popular models, the Civic Type R. Our spy shooters spotted a prototype of the latest generation of the European market Civic hatchback featuring a large rear wing near Honda’s technical center at the Nürburgring, which we believe could be a test mule for the next Type R. As a test mule, this prototype doesn’t tell us much about the appearance of the actual Type R, which will be dressed up with a more aggressive aero kit. It’s still early to know precise details about the powertrain choices, but as we see it, Honda can go one of two ways: either stick to a high-revving four-cylinder gasoline engine or follow a similar path to the NSX opting for a high-performance hybrid driveline, again with a four-cylinder petrol engine as the base. Whichever road Honda chooses, the front-wheel drive Type-R will have to pack a more powerful punch than its predecessor (198hp / 200PS) if it wants to compete head on with the latest crop of European hot hatches like the 276hp Opel / Vauxhall Astra OPC and 247hp Ford Focus ST.Photo Credits: CarPix for Carscoop