The production model will make it to the U.S. later this year!

The Civic Type R was unveiled to the world in prototype form at the 2016 Paris Auto Show and almost immediately the internet went wild with discussion about the upcoming performance hatch. Set to tackle some of the greats like the Volkswagen Golf R and Ford Focus RS, the Civic Type R has a lot to live up to if it’s going to dominate the hot hatch market like it’s intended to. Based on the looks of the prototype we know it it’s got the aggressive looks, but things like engine designation, power output, and official performance figures are a mystery. Back in November CARmagazine published a story in their printed magazine that exposed some new information about the new Civic Type R, with the most significant being that it will be offered with the option of having a CVT transmission!

I’m sure there were a few guys out there that wanted nothing more than to gouge out their eyes when the first read the news, but it’s not all bad. In the article, the head engineer of the Type R, Mirsuru Kariya; the lead designer, Tsutamori; and the head of Honda Europe, Katsushi Inoue, exposed the world to a few interesting facts about the upcoming Type R. The six-speed manual transmission will still be the standard unit, so you’ll still be able to row your own if you want, but for those who are ready to give up that third pedal, the CVT will be a viable option. It was also said that the Type R will be front-wheel-drive only, despite the rumors that it would come ready to battle the Focus RS with a real AWD system. They also said that it will have a lower center of gravity compared to the standard Civic hatchback.

Along with the news that Honda’s CVT will be an option came the news that there will be no option for a dual-clutch unit – news that will certainly disappoint some who have come to appreciate the performance and quick shifting that comes along with a DCT. For now, the muscle behind the car remains a mystery, but as we’ve mentioned in our review of the Type R concept and our speculative review of the upcoming Type R, it will likely get an updated versions of Honda’s current 2.0-liter. In current form, it pumps out 305 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of Japanese bliss, but we’re expecting Honda to up the ante on its new performance hatch and bring those numbers a bit higher to help the car take on the Focus RS. At this point, some sources say 325 horsepower, but it could even go as high as 340.

Update 01/05/2016: A Honda spokesman reach out to outlet Jalopnik and confirmed that the Civic Type R will be offered with a six-speed manual transmission only. No option for a CVT or DCT transmission will exist at the time of launch.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

Some Things are Inevitable

The notion that the Civic Type R will be front-wheel drive isn’t really all that surprising, however, it is a little disappointing that AWD isn’t going to be an option. The LSD and lower center of gravity are ideal for performance and spirited driving, but the whole CVT thing makes me want to pout like a little girl in the corner for the rest of the day. Sure, my experience with early-model CVT transmissions may have tainted my view of them, but it’s still hard to accept that any CVT has a place in a vehicle that is designed for performance. Honda did say that the CVT was optimized for low-end acceleration, so maybe it won’t be all that bad, but something tells me it won’t be as widely accepted as a DCT unit would be, for instance.

At the end of the day, the stick and three-pedals layout is slowly fading away as performance enthusiasts are starting to see the benefits of a fast-shifting DCT, so I say let’s just be happy with the fact that the six-speed manual is still standard equipment. But, what do you think? Would you mark off the CVT option box or would you avoid it like the plague? Let us know in the comments section below.

Current Type R Powertrain Specs

Type direct-injected turbocharged 2.0 litre VTEC TURBO
Type 4 valves per cylinder
Capacity 1,996 cc
Bore x stroke 86.0 x 85.9
Compression ratio 9.8-to-1
Output 305 HP @ 6,500 RPM
Torque 295 LB-FT @ 2,500 RPM
0-to-62 MPH) 5.7 seconds
Top Speed 167 MPH
Transmission six-speed manual

Read our full review on the 2016 Honda Civic Type R Concept here.

Source: CAR via CivicX.com

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