Soon a Honda Civic Type R plug-in hybrid?

Last week, Honda unveiled the new Civic Type R keeping the same formula and combining a turbocharged petrol engine with a six-speed manual gearbox.

It thus put an end to the rumors according to which this model would be hybrid and would even adopt all-wheel drive. However, there might be some truth to these reports after all, at least when it comes to the electrified powertrain.

During an interview with Coach, Honda Motor Europe technical adviser Ko Yamamoto said the Civic Type R’s platform can handle electrification. While he ruled out the possibility of an all-electric version based on the current platform, he left the door open to a hybrid configuration:

“I wouldn’t rule out electrification. We can’t do a purely electric powertrain on this platform, but I imagine it can go up to some level of plug-in hybrid. Electrification n It’s just another technical measure, like VTEC or a turbo, or a multi-link suspension.”

Asked if an all-wheel-drive Civic Type R is in the works, Ko Yamamoto replied that it was absolutely not on the agenda. Even if it is technically possible since the car shares its platform with the CR-V, the technical adviser does not see the advantages: “It’s not even necessarily faster, but it’s heavier”.

In related news, a new video (attached below) emerged with the VW Golf GTI Clubsport rival, showing a pre-production prototype painted in Rallye Red. It’s one of five exterior colors available, along with Historic Championship White, Crystal Black Pearl, Boost Blue and Sonic Gray Pearl.

Recent information suggests that the 2.0-litre petrol engine puts out 10bhp and 20Nm more than before, while an optional carbon fiber spoiler shaves 1kg off the Civic Type R JDM. As you’ve probably heard, Honda is installing smaller wheels but with wider tires by opting for a 19-inch package wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S 265/30.

There are still a lot of technical specs we don’t know about, and the same can be said for essential pricing information. Honda will unravel this mystery in the coming months when the Civic Type R hits the market.

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