Honda looks at adding power, all-wheel drive to Civic Type R

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Honda’s Civic Type R has finally landed in the United States, but the automaker is already hinting at adding new variants.

Honda wants the additional variants to keep interest in the Civic Type R, its halo in the U.S., alive after the initial buzz has worn off. It’s a formula that’s worked well for cars like the Chevrolet Corvette and Porsche 911, and now Honda wants to emulate it for its hot hatch.

Speaking with Automotive News (subscription required), Hideki Matsumoto, chief engineer for the Civic line, said Honda was hopeful of adding more variants in order to keep sales volume stable over the product cycle. The move could also boost the car’s profitability if the new versions are priced higher than the current $ 34,775 starting price.

According to Matsumoto, Honda is looking at a more powerful version as well as a softer version designed for grand touring. A version with all-wheel drive to better challenge the Ford Focus RS, Subaru WRX STI and Volkswagen Golf R is also possible.

Right now the Civic Type R is offered exclusively with a 306-horsepower turbocharged engine, a 6-speed manual, and front-wheel drive—a mechanical setup identical to the previous-generation Civic Type sold overseas. This was done to provide a link between the first Civic Type R in the U.S. and the cult status its predecessor has developed among Honda fans.

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