Having lost the 2014 British Touring Car Championship to MG, Honda Racing Team returns to the series with a new race car based on the newly launched Civic Type R. The beefed-up hatchback replaces last year’s Civic Tourer model, which became the first wagon to win a BTCC event. Unveiled during testing at the Brands Hatch track, the new Civic Type R race car will be driven by Gordon Shedden, the 2012 champion, and Matt Neal, a three-time BTCC winner, meaning Honda will retain the same driver lineup for the sixth consecutive season.

Honda Racing had very few details to share about its new race car, but the Japanese manufacturer has high hopes for 2015. "Our car for 2015 is going to win races. The shape of the new road going Civic Type R has allowed the team to build on the design and take it forward to be a championship winning car," said Barry Plowman, technical director at Honda Yuasa Racing.

The unveiling of the new BTCC-spec car comes to confirm Honda won’t pull out of the series, as it has been initially rumored due to its Formula 1 entry with McLaren. Honda will be looking to win its fifth BTCC championship. The Japanese achieved their previous four wins between 2010 and 2013.

Continue reading to learn more about the Honda Civic Type R BTCC.

  • 2015 Honda Civic Type R BTCC
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • 0-60 time:
    4 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    75000 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:


2015 Honda Civic Type R BTCC High Resolution Exterior
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Even though Honda provided only a handful of photos of the Type R BTCC, the race car clearly is based on the road-going, 2016 Civic Type R. The aerodynamic kit has received extensive updates compared to last season’s car, but the BTCC car retains most of the cues seen on the street-legal hatchback. The front grille and the headlamps are identical, while the bumper sports only minor alterations, especially in the apron area. Of course, the reshaped fender flares and the lowered ride height increase the car’s aerodynamic potential dramatically, but the new BTCC car is a good example of "watch it at the track Sunday, buy at at the dealership Monday."

Around back, the race car gets beefier bumper and fender flares, as well as a slightly modified rear wing. The exhaust pipes have been relocated into the wider side skirts, a feature you won’t find on the road-going hatchback.


The interior is where the R Type BTCC is in no way related to its road-going sibling. Sure, the plastic piece that acts as a dashboard mimics the standard car’s for regulation purposes, but, other than that, this hatch is a full-fledged racer. The driver has an Alcantara-wrapped, multifunction steering wheel at his disposal and sits in a race-spec, carbon-fiber seat.

A custom instrument cluster provides all the necessary information while out on the track. Naturally, the cockpit was built inside a full roll cage that prevents the car from crumbling in the event of a crash.


2015 Honda Civic Type R BTCC High Resolution Exterior
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Honda was brief about the engine powering the Type R BTCC, only saying it will send 345 horsepower and 400 Nm (295 pound-feet) of torque to the pavement. Judging by the 39-horsepower improvement over the standard hatch (torque figures are identical), it’s safe to assume Honda meddled with the internals of the turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder VTEC unit, which now mates to a sequential gearbox. The added oomph and improved aerodynamics should enable the Type R BTCC to hit 62 mph in around five seconds to go with a top speed in excess of 160 mph.

The enhanced drivetrain is backed by a tweaked chassis that features a stiffer sports suspension and lightweight wheels wrapped in Dunlop race-spec tires.


Infiniti Q50 "Support Our Paras" Racing

2015 Infiniti Q50 NGTC Race Car High Resolution Exterior
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While last year’s championship saw only Honda and MG battle for victory in the Constructor class, 2015 brings "Support Our Paras Racing" and its Infiniti Q50 as a third contender. A rookie in this series, Infiniti’s BTCC effort is a charity above anything else, as the team consists of several injured paratroopers. That’s because the aim is to help raise awareness and funds for "Support Our Paras," a charity benefiting the British Parachute Regiment and those coming home injured from war.

As per BTCC regulations, each of the the two Q50 race cars will feature a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, a sequential six-speed gearbox, and an aerodynamics package. The sedans will be driven by Richard Hawken and Derek Palmer Jr.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class WIX Racing/Laser Tools Racing

2014 Mercedes-Benz A-Class BTCC Race Car High Resolution Exterior
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As usual, the Independent class attracted an impressive number of entries, with no fewer than 10 nameplates, including race cars based on the Ford Focus ST, Chevrolet Cruze, Toyota Avensis, Audi A4, and the Audi S3. Having joined the series in 2014, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class returns for 2015 wearing the colors of Laser Tools Racing and WIX Racing. With only one victory and a 10th-place finish last season, WIX Racing’s Adam Morgan will certainly be looking to score better results in 2015. The second A-Class will be driven by Aiden Moffat, who completed his first BTCC season in 2014.

As you might have already guessed, the A-Class BTCC employs the standard car’s 2.0-liter four-banger and a new aero kit designed to reduce drag and increase acceleration. It is likely the A-Class won’t be much of a competitor for the Civic Type R, but the two will clash on a regular basis over the 30 events scheduled on 10 tracks across the UK.


2015 Honda Civic Type R BTCC Exterior
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Although I feel a bit sad to see the Civic Tourer retire after just one season (come on, how often do you see a wagon racing?), the new Type R is definitely better suited to defeat the competitive MG6 GT and put Honda back at the top of BTCC rankings. Of course, winning the 2015 BTCC will also be a matter of consistency for Honda, which lost the previous trophy after its two entries missed eight races between them due to retirement, disqualification or DNS. All told, the 2015 BTCC racing season will be entertaining to say the least.

  • Leave it
    • The MG6 GT might be tough to beat
    • No more Civic Tourer on the racing grid

Press Release

Honda has announced it is to race the new Civic Type R in the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season. Scheduled to be officially unveiled at the BTCC media day at Donington on Tuesday 24 March, the new car has been designed and built from the ground up in the Team Dynamics workshops in Pershore, Worcestershire.

2015 Honda Civic Type R BTCC High Resolution Exterior
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Working in close conjunction with Honda UK manufacturing in Swindon, Honda Yuasa Racing started designing the car last September with the build starting in November.

Based on the production version of the new Civic Type R which is due to hit showrooms in July, the race version will develop 350bhp with 400Nm of torque. By building on the existing road car, which was sourced direct from the Honda UK factory in Swindon, the team has produced a car which has increased down force compared to last year’s Tourer, less drag and a more effective air flow management.

The team has high hopes for 2015 as Barry Plowman, Technical Director at Honda Yuasa Racing, explains: “We cannot wait for the new season to start. Our car for 2015 is going to win races. The shape of the new road going Civic Type R has allowed the team to build on the design and take it forward to be a championship winning car.

2015 Honda Civic Type R BTCC High Resolution Exterior
- image 621616

“2015 is widely being billed as the year Honda is back and we are continuing that in to BTCC. We’ve worked hard over the winter to ensure we have a winning car for 2015.”

The announcement comes as the team recently confirmed an unchanged driver line-up of Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal for the sixth consecutive season.

“This is a car that not just us, but the entire automotive industry has been waiting for,” added Matt Neal. “We are as excited as anybody to start running the Civic Type R, which is a massive step forward from last year’s Tourer – from the engine to the handling and aerodynamics.”

2015 Honda Civic Type R BTCC Exterior
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“The Civic Type R is an iconic car,” commented 2012 BTCC Champion Shedden. “We are champing at the bit to get this distinctive, aggressive looking car out on the track. It’s going to stand out and cause a real stir on the track. Especially when we clean up in the championship!”

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