A minor online frenzy was caused recently, when photos of the latest Honda Civic Type R surfaced. The heavily camouflaged model, which is expected in dealer showrooms in 2022, was spotted pulling maneuvers on a test track. This led to much speculation among armchair critics about the new Type R. Exactly what should we expect from the popular hatchback when it’s finally available for purchase? Here is a first look at the 2022 Civic Type R. It includes everything we can surmise from the available photographs and any official comments from Honda.

A More Conventional Rear End

It has been nearly five years since the current Type R made its debut in 2016. The new model will be part of the 11th generation Civic line-up. Spy photos seem to indicate that it will adhere closely to the design that has made the hatchback a bestseller the world over, especially among younger male drivers. It’s clear from the shots that the next Type R is keeping the wider fenders that have become the vehicle’s signature. They will help it to house bigger wheels and a large rear wing.

Eagle eyed observers have commented that the 2022 Type R appears to have softer edges than previous models and is also outfitted with a single exhaust. That suggests that Honda is aiming to make the Type R more appealing to people beyond the racing enthusiasts. The rear wing appears smaller in photos as well, which gives the car a more mature look.

Another big change to the new Type R is the lights. Honda has installed full-width LED lights in both the front and back. They give the Type R a more modern (and less conventional) rear end than previous models.

A Fully Digital Instrument Cluster

Photos taken from inside appear to show both a new steering wheel and a touchscreen display for the infotainment display. Executives at Honda have hinted that the instrument cluster will be fully digital. Not only that, it’s expected to offer more custom options than in the past. The exact type of infotainment system and instrument cluster won’t be fully known for some time yet. The model isn’t likely to officially debut until auto shows in 2021.

Rumors of a Hybrid Engine

As for the powertrain, there isn’t much official information available. There are, however, rumors that the new Type R will be electrified in some way. The 2022 Civic Type R is expected to continue using a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine. However, it will reportedly work in conjunction with two electric motors powering the rear wheels for a speculated 400 horsepower. Honda is even expected to use the torque-vectoring technology from the NSX in the new Type R. If that’s true, the 2022 model will be incredibly speedy.

The question many are asking is will the new Civic Type R be a full-on hybrid system? Or more of a 48-volt mild-hybrid configuration? Or will it even end up being fully electric? The answers are unclear so far. There is also speculation on whether the Type R will keep the front-wheel drive layout it is famous for, or finally offer an all-wheel drive option.

At the very least, it’s safe to guess that there will a hybrid model. Kohei Hitomi, Honda’s project lead for the new Type R, spoke to the media last year about the forthcoming car.

“People complained when we said the Type R would use a turbocharger, but now they appreciate the new possibilities this has provided,” he said. “I believe it would be the same for electrified vehicles as well. People who love the Type R will come to realize what it can add to the driving experience. We just need to find the best attributes that are relevant for the Type R, so as to enhance the experience without losing what makes a Type R.”

Everything Else

As with all previous versions, the new Civic Type R is expected to be offered only in the hatchback body style. Honda has announced that production of the 2022 Civic Type R will be moved from the United Kingdom to North America for the first time. That means the next Civic Type R will be able to be sourced locally in the United States. American production is slated to begin in 2021, with the car slated to hit showrooms in 2022. Stay tuned for future updates and developments on this popular vehicle.

Source: Honda.com

Devon is a writer, editor, and veteran of the online publishing world. He has a particular love for classic muscle cars.