Honda guns for Megane hot-hatch crown

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Anticipation for the new Type R has been building steadily since we drove the engineering prototype late last year at Honda's their research and development centre in Tochigi, Japan.

Honda sources claim the new Civic Type R will beat Renault's front-wheel-drive production car lap record at Nurburgring (8:07.97), a record set by the Megane RS Trophy in 2011.

Honda's chief engineer, Ayuma Matsuo, confirmed the new Type R will feature a 2.0-litre four-cylinder direct-injected petrol engine, assisted by a turbocharger for the first time in the model's history.

Officially the new engine will produce 206kW/400Nm, however speaking exclusively to Wheels, Ayuma Matsuo revealed plans are underway to extract more. "It's very capable," he said. "220kW or more we are hoping." That figure will stack-up well against the Ford Focus ST (184kW/340Nm), Renault Megane Sport 265 Cup (195kW/360Nm) and Volkswage's Mk7 Golf GTI (162kW/350Nm).

Stylistically, the Civic Type R design concept looks significantly bolstered in comparison to previous models. Huge arch flares and vents tie in with the new rear wing section. The spoiler and tail-lights are a now one integrated piece with the uprights shown in carbon-fibre. The rear door handles are discreetly hidden by the C-pillars, giving the illusion of a two-door body. But how much of this artist's rendering will carry into the production model remains to be seen.

Honda has't offered the Civic Type R in Australia since 2011, when it cost $39,990 plus on-roads. Expect the 2015 Civic Type R to be priced competitively with the likes of the Megane Sport 265 Cup ($42,640). Exact pricing and availability for the 2015 model should follow after the Geneva Motor Show fires up in three weeks.

MRT still successfully compains an older model Honda Civic, along with our trusty Subaru Forester turbo diesel in many rally and hillclimb events. Follow the team.

Handling parts, braking components and service items for your Honda.

As found in Wheels Magazine