For now, the Type R name sticks with the Civic.
The first Honda Civic Type R available to U.S. consumers has been a sales success for the Japanese company. America’s appetite for the the most hardcore Honda continues years after its launch with cars still selling at full price. Despite this, Honda tells Motor1.com it has no plans to expand the Type R name to other models in the brand’s portfolio.
This news comes from Hideki Kakinoma, the project leader for the 2020 Civic Type R. During an interview at an event in Milan, Italy, the engineer shared that Honda has no immediate plans for Type R models outside of the Civic.
“The ‘R’ in Civic Type R has always stood for racing, so expanding into something like an SUV or crossover doesn’t make sense,” Kakinoma-san said. “The Civic is currently the only vehicle in the Honda lineup to meet our requirements of what a Type R needs to be.”
It’s fair, then, to ask about Acura and the TLX and NSX, both of which have racing history (the NSX still races today). Even so, Kakinoma says Honda is unlikely to share the Type R nameplate with Acura on future products.
“When it comes to the Acura brand, Type S is used to dictate a performance flagship, not Type R,” the engineer told Motor1.com.
We can safely infer, based on that comment, that any performance-oriented version of a future Acura model will stick with Type S in its name. Look no further than the recent Type S concept car, which likely previews a future using that name.
Deciding against the expansion of the Type R name is a matter of purity, Honda tells Motor1. Where other manufacturers like BMW and Mercedes have expanded their performance lineups beyond sports cars to include SUVs and other vehicle types, Honda’s intention is to keep its Type R name focused on racing, even if it means missing out on sales. So until the day comes when we see another Honda product worthy of a racetrack, we can expect the Type R name to stay right where it is on the Civic.