Honda has officially acknowledged the development of a new Civic Type R for the first time, confirming the next iteration of its VW Golf R rival will launch in 2022.
The Type R is said to be "ready for Nürburgring testing", and the official preview image shows the car in much less camouflage than our previous spy shots. The brand has yet to confirm a precise launch date, but given it appears to be nearly production-ready, we would anticipate a full unveiling at the beginning of 2022.
Honda's official image confirms that the Renault Mégane RS rival won't be radically different from its predecessor externally. The overall body shape, with its low, wide stance, saloon-style bootlid and big rear wing is familiar, while distinctive triple-exit exhaust pipes anf red brake calipers provide another nod to its performance potential.
A close look at our spy shots reveals the spoiler features a new raised mounting, while the smaller lip spoiler on the bootlid no longer appears to dissect the rear window. Further visible changes include a lower shoulder line, a lower bonnet line and lower headlights, as previewed by the reveal of the standard Civic hatchback ahead of its European market launch in 2022.
A view of the interior shows what looks like different steering wheel and dashboard designs, alongside a dashtop-mounted touchscreen, although it's difficult to draw conclusions from this early prototype.
Honda’s electrification plans were accelerated last year with the aim of making all the brand's European sales electrified by 2022, but notably that goal applies to only the brand's "mainstream" products; the Type R is an enthusiast-oriented proposition that accounts for only a small percentage of European sales.
So it remains a possibility that the Type R will forge ahead with an upgraded and enhanced version of the current car's 2.0-litre turbo four, which sends 316bhp to the front axle for a 0-62mph time of 5.8secs and a top speed of up to 169mph.