The reveal of the vastly redeveloped Civic at the Paris Motor Show was overshadowed by the presence of a Type R prototype.
The current Type R has only been on sale for around 12 months but the arrival of the more powerful, more affordable 345bhp Ford Focus RS has taken the wind out of its sails and left it looking a little inadequate. What a world we live in when a 305bhp hatchback isn’t good enough.
The Type R prototype has the same low and wide proportions of the forthcoming standard Civic, but its styling is more muscular with tweaks to improve aerodynamics.
For its Paris unveiling, the prototype’s exterior was finished in a highly reflective, finely-grained brushed aluminium effect. Unlikely to be an option for the car-buying public but it looks cool as hell.
A winged carbon fibre splitter and sporty red accent line breaks up the front bumper while slatted ducts add width. Carbon fibre skirts run along the side, bridging enlarged wheel arches while the 20-inch piano black alloy wheels are sprinkled with red accents.
At the back, there are three (count ‘em) functional tailpipes while a carbon fibre diffuser sits below the wider rear bumper.
The most recent Type R made headlines for being the first to use turbochargers and ditch the naturally aspirated approach traditionally taken with previous efforts.
Truth is that in the face of VW’s Golf R and the then-impending Focus RS, it had no choice and although no details on the next Type R’s engine have been made public, it seems unlikely that natural aspiration would make a return.
However, you could bet your bed on the Civic coming back with more power than ever before. It will have to at least compete with the Focus RS’ 345bhp and 4.7 second 0-62mph sprint to stand a chance in the market.
We’ll find out how much of the Type R prototype makes it into the production model in the first half of 2017, before going on sale in the second half of the year.
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