The 2023 Honda Civic Type R broke cover at last month’s Tokyo Auto Salon wearing some of the most innovative camouflage ever seen on a prototype.
Covered in a radical new tricolor camouflage that features a black background with stylized white silhouettes of the new model and bright red “R” lettering logo designs of previous Type Rs, this body covering is deceptive at first glance. When I first saw the car on Honda’s stand I thought it was merely covered in a triple color hotchpotch of shapes, but a closer inspection revealed that Honda designers had sourced the latest three “R” logos from the last three models to cleverly create this eye-catching camouflage.
Even though the car’s body lines are well hidden below the colorful covering, we can still see that this new Honda’s styling has been significantly toned down from the sharp, edgy boy racer image to a subtle more mature look. In fact, what you see here is about 95% of how the final car will appear in showrooms by early summer this year.
Honda may not have revealed any details about the Type R’s specifications, but if the outgoing model is any indication, we can expect some serious pace and handling traits from the all-new R. One source suggested that the new Type R would get a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder VTEC gasoline engine generating at least 330-hp (a 10hp increase over the outgoing model) and 297 lb-ft of torque. The Type R will be mated to a 6-speed manual with 20-inch wheels and short throws and boast 4-piston Brembo brakes. A video released by Honda of the prototype speeding around Suzuka Circuit in Japan shows the new car wearing a huge rear wing for maximum downforce and rear end stability.
With this new Type R, Honda will want to return to the famed Nurburgring in Germany to try to reclaim its lap record for the fastest front-drive car. In 2017, its predecessor set a lap time of 7 minutes 43.8 seconds before that time was eclipsed in 2019 by the Renault Megane RS Trophy-R which posted a blistering time of 7m 40.1 seconds.
With a model that is expected to be the last gasoline turbocharged Type R before electrification takes over in the second half of this decade, Honda will push hard for that record to add some extra street cred.