Here's the car hot-hatch fans have been waiting for - the next-generation Honda Civic Type R.Due to get its first public airing at the Paris motor show, the new Type R uses a mildly tweaked version of the original car's 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine. It now has 198bhp on tap instead of 197, and although that figure is now reached at 8000rpm (instead of the old model's 7400rpm), Honda says that the useable torque is available from lower down the rev range with the new car.
The new Type R does carry a little extra weight, but Honda says that slightly shorter gear ratios will compensate. Accordingly, performance should match that of the old-gen Type R - the new model will hit 62mph in 6.6sec and go on to a top speed of 146mph.
The Type R sits 15mm lower than the regular model, on 225/40 ZR18 rubber. Unfortunately, the rear torsion beam suspension remains, albeit with uprated dampers, bushes and springs. Honda claims that the regular Civic is one of the stiffest cars in its class, but it's added further strengthening to the floor cross-member, lower cross-member and upper front suspension mountings. Interestingly, it also promises heavier steering, potentially addressing one of the original car's real weak points.