Finally a rival for the Ford Focus RS?

The latest Honda Civic Type R was introduced just a year ago, but the Japanese firm is already working on a facelift. A revised prototype with mild camouflage over its front and rear fascias was spotted testing on public roads, and it seems that Honda is planning to replace the hatchback with an updated version in 2019.

Updated Honda Civic Type R Caught Testing; It Could be a Hotter Version!
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The revised Type R doesn't look radically different, but the camouflaged nose suggests that Honda meddled with the design up front

The revised Type R doesn’t look radically different, but the camouflaged nose suggests that Honda meddled with the design up front. While the headlamps and the main grille appear to be the same, there are a few changes in the bumper. The center grille is slightly larger and its now flanked by two outlets that are different on the outgoing model. The flics on each side also seem to be different, and we could also see minor revisions to the bumper panels once the camouflage falls off.

Around back, the taillights and the big wing carried over unchanged. The bumper, however, hides more revisions under the wrap. The first thing that catches the eye is that the side vents now feature additional winglets. They seem smaller under the camo, but they’re actually split into two distinct elements by horizontal wings. Both the diffuser and the three-pipe exhaust appear the same, but Honda made have changed small details in order to improve aerodynamics.

Updated Honda Civic Type R Caught Testing; It Could be a Hotter Version!
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There are no shots of the interior, but don't expect big changes in there

There are no shots of the interior, but don’t expect big changes in there. If anything, Honda could add extra standard equipment and new trim and upholstery options. As usual, the infotainment system could get a few small updates and a few new apps.

Under the hood, the Civic Type R will continue with the same turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. A small power update is possible, but don’t expect Honda to go wild on the current 306-horsepower and 295-pound-foot rating.

On the other hand, there have been rumors that Honda is working on a hotter version of the Type R. And given that the standard Civic has yet to receive a facelift, we could be looking at the beefed-up Type R right here. The small updates make sense in this scenario, but this model will stand out more under the hood. A hotter version would be aimed at the Ford Focus RS, so it should have close to 350 horsepower and more than 320 pound-feet of torque. Of course, such a model would also need an all-wheel-drive system.

Updated Honda Civic Type R Caught Testing; It Could be a Hotter Version!
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It’s difficult to tell at this point, but we sure wouldn’t mind seeing an even hotter Civic Type R on the street in a few months.

Further reading

2017 Honda Civic Type R High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.

2016 Honda Civic High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Honda Civic.

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Read more Honda news.

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