Salt shakers at the ready, boys and girls. There's a rumor out of Australia claiming the next Honda CR-Z will be based on the forthcoming 276-horsepower, turbocharged Civic Type R. Apparently Honda's research and development bigwigs have been unnerved by the reception of the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ twins and are eager to return fire.
Now, don't get too excited - Honda isn't following the Volkswagen model of offering virtually unchanged mechanicals in a different bodyshell (Beetle Turbo and GTI, for example). Instead, the report says the future CR-Z will retain its hybrid powertrain, albeit with a serious kick in the pants. A prototype is said to already be zipping around Japan with a turbocharged, direct-injected, 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine and the current CR-Z's electric motor and battery pack. With a reported 221 horsepower mated up to a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission (say buh-bye to the CVT and six-speed manual) and the next-gen Civic platform underneath, the rumored CR-Z has all the makings of a hot hatch riot.
Of course, this all sounds wonderful. This is also the point where you should be enjoying that salt. We really like the idea of a properly hot CR-Z that can compete with John Cooper Works Mini models and the new Ford Fiesta ST, but the three-door hybrid has been such a slow seller for Honda in the US that it might not field a second generation here, no matter how improved it might be. Let us know what you think of an amped-up CR-Z in the comments. Is it a good idea, or is this one Honda model that's just too far gone?
Signature head- and tail-lamp outlines are becoming increasingly more commonplace these days amongst automakers, a trend which, I remember from BMW's late 1980s cars like the E30 3-Series facelift's front lights, continued with the Bavarian brand's so-called "angel eyes", before it was taken to the next level with more recent Audi models.
In this video, we see how Honda applied its own headlight treatment on the soon-to-be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show, Civic Type-R Concept.
The study will give us a very close idea of the production hot hatch that will enter the market next year fitted with a Honda’s all-new 2.0-liter VTEC TURBO engine twisting out more than 280-horses towards the front wheels only.
2015 Honda Civic Type R Concept Teased Ahead Of Geneva Motor Show
Honda’s latest Civic Type R is nearing the end of its gestation, and at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show in early March we’ll get our first definitive look at the completed car in the form of a thinly veiled concept version. Today, Honda released a teaser sketch showing the concept and confirmed that the production version will go on sale overseas in early 2015.
Interestingly, the design in this sketch shows some new elements not seen on the regular Civic nor the prototype versions of the Civic Type R we’ve been spying for the past year. The rear spoiler has a very futuristic design and appears to integrate the tail-lights. There are also new vents in the rear fenders. Overall the design looks very cool and we hope it’s transferred to the production version untouched.
Unfortunately, the latest Civic Type R, like its predecessor, won’t be offered in the U.S. as it is based on the Civic platform designed for the rest of the world. We recently drove a prototype, complete with Honda’s new direct-injected and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, and found it to be absolutely brilliant.
The engine, which in final spec could reach as high as 300 horsepower, will be paired with a six-speed manual transmission and spin the front wheels. The goal of engineers was to make it the fastest front-wheel-drive production car to ever lap the Nürburgring, a benchmark that currently stands at 8:07.97, as set by the Renault Megane RS Trophy in 2011. With any luck, we'll see some of the car's hardware appear in the next-generation CR-Z.
Stay tuned for the full reveal once the 2014 Geneva Motor Show gets underway on March 4, but in the meantime check out the links below: