“Anything is possible” when it comes to what Honda will do next with the Civic Type R, according to Ko Yamamoto, technical advisor for Honda Motor Europe.
The brand has just revealed the new 2022 Honda Civic Type R, which gets a heavily modified version of the previous 2017 ‘FK8’ Type R’s platform and 2.0-litre turbocharged, inline four-cylinder petrol engine.
“I wouldn’t exclude electrification,” said Yamamoto. “We can’t do a pure electric powertrain on this platform, but I imagine it can take up to a certain level of plug-in hybrid.” He did not confirm that the any future Civic Type R would use this platform, but the model has typically had a short shelf life of only two or three years in the past.
With the brand set to launch a range of new EVs from 2023 as it pushes forward with its plan to phase out combustion engines, it’s reasonable to expect that the 2022 Civic Type R will be the last non-electrified version of the brand’s popular hot hatch.
“Electrification is just another technical measure, like VTEC or a turbo, or multi-link suspension,” Yamamoto told Autocar at an early pre-launch passenger ride for the new Type R.
“There are certain attributes that are important for a Type R: the ultimate response, the unity between driver and machine. How that’s being achieved? That’s another story, and I’m quite sure it can be achieved with some kind of electrification.”
Electrification is highly likely, if not a certainty, then. However, four-wheel drive seems to be out of the question for any future Type R.
“We can do four-wheel drive, of course,” said Yamamoto. “This platform [underpinning the 2022 Civic Type R] is also used for the four-wheel-drive CR-V.
"However, I think four-wheel drive doesn’t really cope with the Type R principal. It’s not even necessarily quicker, but it is heavier.”