We’ve been waiting for what seems like an age, and the new Honda Civic Type R is finally upon us.

Almost.

The heir to Japan’s hot-hatch throne is officially being shown as a Prototype here at the Paris Motor Show, and if history provides any guide, “prototype” tends to be Honda-speak for “production car with undersized side mirrors.” In other words, you’re looking at 99 percent of the Civic Type R, which the Japanese automaker has confirmed will finally make it to US dealers in this generation. For those keeping tabs, this will be the first time a Honda Type R model will be sold in our market.

Clad in a brushed-aluminum wrap, this show star picks up where the last generation CTR left off, replete with all manner of angry body-kit extensions, wings, spats and gaping intakes. Featuring a carbon fiber front splitter and 20-inch 245-series tires mounted on piano-black alloy wheels, the Prototype looks ready to knife presumptive rivals like the Ford Focus RS, Subaru WRX STI and Volkswagen Golf R, but sadly, Honda isn’t disclosing what sort of power or performance we can expect out of the new model.

A production version of this Prototype will be the first Type R model officially imported into the US.

Honda

Slated to be built at Honda’s Swindon plant in the UK alongside the new five-door hatchback model bound for the US, the production model is widely anticipated to funnel at least 300 horsepower through a six-speed manual transmission. Despite mainline competitors moving to all-wheel drive, Honda is expected to stick with front-wheel drive, which should make for some very challenging — and highly entertaining — driving dynamics.

Honda isn’t saying when the Civic Type R will be available in North America, but European deliveries are expected to start in the second half of 2017, so you likely have plenty of time to start saving your pennies.



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