Next Honda Civic Type R might not be a hybrid after all

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Words: Matthew Hansen   |   Photos X-Tomi Design
12 Jan 2021

It feels like from the very moment the current FK8-generation Honda Civic Type R was revealed that rumours started to swirl around whether the next-gen model would become electrified in some way, shape, or form.

Reports from all over the world have indicated that the hot hatch’s next form would include some form of hybrid system. Best Car Web in Japan even stated the move was locked in, with power rated at almost 300kW. Others connected the hybrid system to a desire to go all-wheel drive — a move that could elevate the Type R to being a bonafide rival for the Mercedes-AMG A 45 and Audi RS 3.

But, it appears that these rumours were just that … rumours. That’s according to a new report by Autocar UK, which indicates that not only will the next-gen Type R retain a pure internal combustion engine — it will also be the last ever ICE car sold in Europe.

Late last year the Japanese brand announced it would completely electrify its European line-up by 2022 (that’s next year, folks). According to the report, Honda will be able to stay true to that promise, as the new Type R is set to hit European showrooms in 2022 as a pure petrol swansong. Note that Honda hasn’t made this pledge in any other continent.

It’s set to receive an updated version of its current turbocharged 2.0-litre, according to the UK publication. It adds that the already capable 228kW unit will gain a power bump, retaining its front-wheel drive format. And, although the render attached to this story (created by render guru X-Tomi Design) is based on the Civic’s recently revealed sedan variant, the Type R will continue to be based on the hatch instead.

There’s no word on whether the slick six-speed manual will finally be joined by some sort of self-shifting box. Even Honda, something of a bastion of the manual, should be able to see the benefits of offering customers a choice.

Those who’ve followed the Civic Type R hybrid rumours will be somewhat aware of the slight doubt on electriciation from the few Honda staffers who have commented on the speculation. “We don’t think it is as simple as replacing that with electric power. That’s not the right direction for Type R,” said Honda E Prototype project manager Kohei Hitomi, back in 2019.


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