Bold and Aggressive, Styled to Reflect Performance
Honda’s appearance at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show will lead with the worldwide reveal of the Civic Type R Concept model, providing the styling direction for the exterior design of the hotly-anticipated production version that debuts in 2015. Its bold and aggressive styling reflects the strong performance credentials for which Type R is renowned.
Described by the design team as a ‘racing car for the road’ rather than a high performance version of a road car, the new Type R looks set to signal a new era for the marque- this model is set to be the most extreme Civic Type R yet. Its sleek and aerodynamic profile reflects a car designed for function and performance whilst maintaining the look of a road car and the distinctive character of Type R.
“Type R represents Honda’s racing spirit. It is built with a passion for motorsport.” Masaru Hasegawa – Chief Stylist, Civic Type R
Styling is heavily linked to performance, with the Type R Concept showing its credentials in the exterior design. Many of the styling features offer real function, rather than just aesthetics, as confirmed by feedback from prototype testing at the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany. The need to reduce drag, add down-force, provide cooling and achieve optimum airflow, were key considerations for the design team.
The front spoiler is designed to add down-force, the vertical side wings and the cut out shape of the front bumper help to reduce drag and control airflow around the front tyres. A red stripe running along the front spoiler further accentuates the Type R’s low and wide stance.
Furthermore, the new headlight design with integrated LED daytime running lights and the sharp horizontal fog lights, add a strong character to the face of the Type R Concept. The upper and lower front grilles have been enlarged and air outlets on the bonnet provide cooling for the high output engine. The front and rear fenders have been widened to accommodate wide tyres and air outlets are integrated to optimise airflow.
One of the most stand-out advances on the Concept model is the new rear spoiler featuring LED tail lights integrated into the rear wing which accentuates the Type R’s futuristic look.
The shape and angle of the double rear wing has been designed to provide additional down-force, as a direct result of feedback gained through testing on the track.
Supporting the design direction are 20-inch wheels, edged by a red ring, with visible red brake callipers and a bright red stripe running along the bottom of the front spoiler. Such features add to the aggressive appearance which reflects the inspiring driving experience that the Type R promises to deliver.
Styling and modelling of the new Concept has been carried out in Europe, with the team based at Honda’s R&D centre in Swindon, UK. The design team maintained close contact with production colleagues, as they worked towards achieving the styling direction of the Concept model.
Building on Honda’s Pedigree for Turbo-Charged Engines
While further detail on performance is yet to be announced, Honda has confirmed that the forthcoming Type R will be the first model in Europe to feature one of its brand new VTEC TURBO engines from the Earth Dreams Technology range. The two-litre, direct injection, four-cylinder turbo is expected to deliver class-leading output of at least 280PS and will be EURO 6 compliant.
Turbo engines have not been seen in Honda’s production cars in Europe for some time, however, the company has continued to actively develop turbo technology, deploying it on the race track and in road cars in other regions. The 2013 WTCC season saw Honda successfully return to the track with the turbo-charged HR412E in the Civic; powering the Castrol Honda World Touring Car team and Zengo Motorsport team to become the Manufacturers’ Champion in Honda´s first full season.
Honda’s successful return to WTCC in 2013, has been instrumental in gathering knowledge that has helped shape the new Type R, providing the development team with analysis and feedback on performance and styling collected from the track to assist in the creation of a ‘racing car for the road’ from the Civic five-door.
The manufacturer’s long history in developing turbo engines for success on the track dates back decades, with one stand-out example being Honda’s turbo-charged RA168E used in Formula One. In the 1988 F1 season the RA168E powered Honda to set eight new records, including the most race victories (15 out of 16), the most Constructors points (199) and the most one-two finishes (10). The season also saw Honda take both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships for the second consecutive year.
Additionally, the 2013 American Le Mans Series saw Honda Performance Development and its teams dominate, with Scott Tucker taking his third consecutive drivers title in the ARX-03b. Powered by the Honda HR28TT twin-turbo V6 engine, the ARX-03b produces 450hp from 2800cc displacement. In the Japanese Super GT series, GT300 class, the CR-Z GT has used a turbo engine since 2013; while the 2014 NSX Concept –GT, in the GT500 class will feature a two-litre turbo engine coupled with hybrid technology.
Honda also continues to deploy turbo-charged engines in production cars in markets outside of Europe. The 1988 Legend introduced a 2.0-litre 24-valve V6 engine with a variable “Wing Turbo” that could regulate exhaust stream and efficiently utilise charging pressure. More recently, the Acura RDX launched in 2008 with a 2.3-litre 16-valve inline four-cylinder engine utilising i-VTEC intake valve control; combining Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) with Variable Timing Control™ (VTC™). With the variable flow turbocharger working in unison with i-VTEC, the RDX delivers strong power and torque, excellent fuel economy and low emissions. Rated output for the engine is 240 hp at 6000 rpm, with 260 lb-ft/352 Nm of torque at 4500 rpm.
Many smaller Honda models also utilise turbo engines in order to deliver a dynamic ride; for example, the 1982 City Turbo through to the successful N-ONE turbo model released in Japan, in 2012.
The unveiling of the new Type R Concept model follows Honda’s announcement at the Paris Motor Show in 2012, where it confirmed the return of the Civic Type R, with a commitment to setting new standards in performance and handling, with the application of technologies developed through its participation in the World Touring Car Championships. The company also announced its aim for the new Civic Type R to become the fastest front-wheel-drive vehicle to lap the Nurburgring.
The Civic Type R Concept model will appear on the Honda stand at Geneva Motor Show, in a vivid red with a gold highlight, a colour developed especially for this car, aiming to express its performance credentials and unique character.