Honda Civic Type R Concept a “Racing Car for the Road”

The Honda Civic Type R Concept uses the maker’s new Earth Dreams turbo I-4 engine.

Automakers often like to talk about how they’ve taken racing technology from the track to the street, but the Honda Civic Type R Concept debuting in Geneva this week is, as much as anything, meant to celebrate the Japanese automaker’s upcoming rebirth on the Formula One circuit.

Prototypes of the Type R have been busily running the grueling Nurburgring in Germany, and the exterior styling of the show car reflects what  Honda has been learning about how to reduce drag, improve down-force and improve engine and brake cooling.

The taillights are integral to the Civic Type R’s rear double plane wing.

The front spoiler, for example, helps reduce lift while vertical side wings and other front details reduce drag – especially around the large front tires.

Other distinctive features of the concept include the newly designed headlamps – with their integrated LED running lights and fog lamps – and the larger front grilles and hood air outlets designed to both improve engine breathing and cooling..

The Civic Type R Concept gets a new rear spoiler with the LED taillights integrated directly into the double rear wing – which itself provides additional down-force.

(Two Honda models make the Consumer Reports Top 10 Picks for 2014 list. Click Here to see which models they are.)

The Concept rides on low-profile 20-inch wheels, each edged with a red ring that complements the look of the red brakes.  The red striping is repeated in a variety of places, including the front spoiler.

The Type R Concept was developed out of Honda’s RD center in the U.K. where there’s a strong market for such high-performance compacts.

Honda Concept 1

The Civic Type R will reach showrooms about the same time Honda returns to F1 racing.

In fact, the Type R will be the first Honda model in the European market to feature one of its new VTEC Turbo engines.  The maker is developing three distinct versions in 3-, 4- and 6-cylinder layouts. The production version of the Type R will get a 2.0-liter direct-injection version expected to produce “at least” 280 PS – in U.S. terms about 276 horsepower.

Honda returned to the World Touring Car Championship series with a turbo-powered Civic last year, and the Type R will be the maker’s first European street model to use a blower in a number of years.

The maker is holding other powertrain details, including the transmission choice, as well as performance and fuel economy numbers, until closer to next year’s production start.

While some details of the Geneva show car aren’t likely to make it into production, Honda has a history of using concept vehicles to give potential buyers a good look at what’s actually coming to showrooms in short order.

(Honda killing off Insight as it shifts directions with its hybrid line-up. Click Here for the full story.)

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Honda Concept 1
Honda Concept 1
Honda Concept 1
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