2023 Honda Civic Type R: first pictures and performance details of new hot hatch

Ford Focus ST and Hyundai i30 N rival will be “most exhilarating” Type R yet thanks to mechnical and technological upgrades

Honda has revealed the first images and details of the 2023 Civic Type R ahead of it going on sale next year.

The unveiling of the sixth-generation hot hatch comes shortly after the launch of the regular 11th-generation Civic and marks 25 years since the first Civic Type R took to the roads.

Based on the all-new 11th-gen car, the Type R ditches the regular model’s e:HEV hybrid powertrain in favour of a turbocharged, four-cylinder petrol and has been substantially reworked to offer what Honda claims is the “most exhilarating” Civic experience yet.

The car has already set a new front-wheel-drive record around Japan’s Suzuka circuit and Honda says it outperforms even the most stripped-back previous Type Rs thanks to the use of weight-saving materials and techniques, improved aerodynamics and changes to the powertrain.

The latest Civic Type R uses a revised version of the turbocharged 2.0-litre engine from the previous model, with “incremental” upgrades to elements including the turbo and exhaust system. Honda hasn’t released power and torque figures yet but has said the latest version improves the torque, top speed and power-to-weight ratio. However, there’s no specific mention of a power upgrade from the existing 316bhp.

Elsewhere, the six-speed manual gearbox has been revised and the rev matching function modified, while the two-piece Brembo brakes have also been upgraded.

“With the all-new Civic Type R, Honda engineers have again delivered on our goal to create the most rewarding driving experience in the performance hatchback segment,” said Tom Gardner, senior vice president of Honda Motor Europe. “Through exceptional advancements and the application of motorsport-derived technologies, we have exceeded the capabilities of even the stripped out, lightweight version of the previous model. It is this dedication to performance excellence that has made the Civic Type R so popular with driving purists for 25 years.”

In its announcement of the new model, Honda talked about uncluttered and subtle design - not phrases that could be levelled at the previous generation Type R - and the 2023 Type R is less overtly aggressive than its predecessor.

Several bodywork elements, including the bumpers, bonnet, grille, wings, rear door and rear spoiler have been developed specifically for the Type R to give it a more aggressive, sporty style and aid cooling and aerodynamics.

Inside, the 11th-generation car’s cabin is enhanced with the traditional Type R red trim, including on the lower-mounted lightweight sports seats. Drivers have access to three preset drive modes - comfort, sport and +R - as well as a customisable individual mode that allows drivers to set the engine, steering, suspension and engine sound parameters. The previous generation’s LogR data logger has been overhauled and can now be linked to a smartphone app.

The new Civic Type R will go on sale in Europe in early 2023, with more performance and price details revealed nearer launch.

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