Last month at the Paris Motor Show, Honda announced that a new Type R was on its way for European customers, with the simple aim of becoming the fastest front-wheel-drive car around the 12.9 mile Nürburgring.
Their approach to achieving this goal is through racing, specifically competing in the FIA World Touring Car Championships with drivers Tiago Montiero and Fabrizio Giovanardi. And the brand new car they are developing for the series, is due to make its debut on 20th October, at the Suzuka rounds of this year’s championship.
The Civic WTCC is powered by a completely bespoke 1.6 litre 4 cylinder HR-412E direct injection turbo-charged petrol engine, conforming to FIA regulations for the WTCC.
Honda say that technologies developed through their participation in the WTCC will be applied to the new Civic Type R, however it’s not yet known ‘which’ of these technologies this will be – all they’ll say for the time being is new model will again aim to set new standards in performance and handling.
The Honda name has been synonymous with naturally aspirated high-revving engines for decades, but due to ever-tightening emissions laws and moves made by all their competitors, it looks likely that the next Type R will to turn to forced induction in delivering both engine performance and efficiency.
President of Honda Motor Europe, Manabu Nishimae, said at Paris, “We race to win, and we also race to learn. Honda will feedback WTCC experience into the development of a new Type R, which will aim to become the fastest front-wheel drive vehicle on the Nürburgring circuit.”
Daisuke Horiuchi, Honda’s WTCC Development Project Leader said: “In the continuous technological development of an internal combustion engine, the thermal efficiency is the essential key for improvement. And a race engine is not an exception. This HR-412E was born from such thought process: aiming for higher efficiency. The HR-412E heralds a new generation of high performance racing engines from Honda.
“All engineers at the R&D centre in Tochigi have worked hard to develop a race engine that will deliver great driveability to our racing drivers, with no compromise on peak power performance. We believe the innovations that have led to this revolutionary engine will also lead to benefits beyond the race track, helping us to further increase the efficiency of our road car engines.”
The new Type R will go on sale in 2015, which seems an awfully long time from now, but then good things come to those who wait.