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2023 Honda Civic Type R Revealed, Promises Performance Boost

2023-honda-civic-type_r-exterior-oem_02 2023 Honda Civic Type R | Manufacturer image

The 2023 Honda Civic Type R has shed the camo ahead of its upcoming arrival as the automaker’s most track-capable model this side of an NSX. Based on the Civic hatchback, the front-wheel-drive Type R returns with exterior and interior updates along with the promise of more horsepower, faster acceleration and improved handling. While most specs remain under wraps, shoppers can get a closer look at the Type R’s redesigned exterior, interior and tweaks under the hood.

Related: 2022 Honda Civic First Drive Review: Honda’s Boy Racer Grows Up

New Exterior Hints at Improved Performance

The 2023 Civic Type R is longer and sits lower and wider than the previous model. According to the automaker, optimizing aerodynamics motivated additional updates like larger front fender grilles and new side sills behind the front wheels, which wear wider tires.

In front, the Type R gets a new honeycomb mesh grille design, while the rear sees a redesigned but equally large spoiler, as well as a new bumper and rear diffuser; the previous Type R’s triple exhaust returns in the new model, however. Five paint colors will be offered: Historic Championship White, Rallye Red, Boost Blue, Crystal Black Pearl and Sonic Grey Pearl.

Signature Interior Updated With New Tech

The Type R’s red-and-black interior looks familiar at first glance, but Honda claims significant changes lie inside. New imitation-suede seat upholstery is intended to hold occupants in place during bouts of spirited driving. A honeycomb mesh panel shared with other Civic models spans the width of the dashboard and covers the front air vents for a cleaner look. A Type R badge is added to the panel to differentiate the hatchback from lesser Civics.

Honda photos show a high-mounted touchscreen that was first introduced in the Civic sedan and hatchback will also make its way into the Type R — the largest of which measures 9 inches. Also, a new meter design displays driving details like engine rpm and gear position when the vehicle’s sportiest Plus R mode is activated.

What We Don’t Know: Performance and Pricing

The previous Type R’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine will return in the 2023 model, and it will once again be paired with a six-speed manual transmission (the Type R does not offer an automatic). Honda says both engine and transmission have been improved, translating to increased horsepower and responsiveness. Just how much more power remains to be seen, but shoppers can expect a bump from the 2021 Civic Type R Limited Edition’s 306 horses.

The 2023 model will also be the fastest Type R yet, according to the automaker. While no 0-60 mph estimates were provided, one promising sign is the vehicle’s performance in testing at Honda’s Suzuka test track in Japan, where it bested the previous model by nearly a second. In addition to Honda’s claim that the new Type R will be the fastest and most powerful version, the automaker says the new model gets an enhanced suspension, improved handling and better stability at high speeds.

More details on the 2023 Civic Type R’s specs and pricing are expected closer to its upcoming arrival in the fall. Currently, the 2022 Civic hatchback starts at $24,645 for the base LX and $31,145 for the range-topping Sport Touring (all prices include destination). Shoppers can expect the higher performance of the Type R to bring a significantly higher price tag, though — the 2021 Type R Limited Edition we reviewed at the time came in at $45,010.

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