Hot on the heels of yesterday's official teaser images, the next-generation Civic Type R is making the headlines again. This time around, Honda's hot hatch has been spotted undergoing testing in Germany where an early prototype was clocking up the miles until next year's launch. It had the rear wing and Brembo brakes, but the test car lacked some of the production bits.
For example, those taillights seem to be a provisional setup only used in the early stages of testing, but perhaps the most striking is the exhaust layout. Rather than featuring the center-mounted setup with three tips, the prototype has a basic single-tip arrangement mounted on the left side. A trailer hitch now sits in the center where we'd normally see the Civic Type R's special exhaust resembling that of a Ferrari 458 Italia.
Despite having a basic exhaust setup, the prototype sounds pretty good. It better deliver an appealing noise seeing as how the Civic Type R will be Honda's last car in Europe to come with a pure gasoline engine, without any electrical assistance. The automaker has already hybridized most of its Euro fleet, meaning the performance hatch will be the last hurrah for enthusiasts interested in an ICE-only car.
With Honda shutting down the Swindon plant in the UK, the next Civic Type R will be produced at the Indiana factory in the US. The feisty five-door will likely remain a front-wheel-drive affair, with a 2.0-liter turbo engine that could be massaged to deliver a bit more than the 306 hp and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) available in the outgoing model. Honda has already confirmed a manual gearbox, not just for the Type R, but also for the Si sedan.
It should go on sale in the United States towards the end of next year at an estimated starting price of $40,000. Meanwhile, the warm four-door Civic Si will debut in the coming weeks to take on the Hyundai Elantra N Line and Volkswagen Jetta GLI.