Honda Promises Electrification Won’t Kill the Type R

The latest Honda Civic Type R is fresh out of the door with a 315-horsepower combustion engine, promising a least one more life cycle of high-performance fun for the Japanese automaker. But what does the future hold as the entire industry shifts to carbon-neutral vehicle lineups over the next decade, with cars, SUVs and trucks becoming electrified? Apparently the answer is simple: The future holds more fast Hondas with new technology.

“Without Type R, there is no Honda.” Those are the words of a Honda exec in a recent interview with Autocar. The catch? Those words came from Hideki Kakinuma, lead engineer for Honda’s Type R project; of course Kakinuma would suggest that more Type R projects are coming, as it means he gets to keep his job. But joking aside, this is good news, and Kakinuma had more to say.

In response to upcoming emissions and production regulations, Kakinuma said that “for Honda, they are only new hurdles, new challenges to provide our customers the joy of driving. Yes, we will definitely be keen to bring further Type Rs.” The exec added that the brand “strongly believes that driving pleasure is the core essence of private mobility, personal mobility.”

The Honda exec is focused on what makes Honda and Type R unique, with “a principle of the joy of driving, and that involves a lot of aspects… If this excitement can be provided with a certain powertrain that is carbon neutral or somewhat electrified – or a completely different technology – this will also be justifiably a Type R.” That completely different tech could be a nod to Honda’s hydrogen powertrain development, though the exec didn’t elaborate.

Interestingly, Kakinuma teased that a next-gen Type R may not even need to be electrified itself, if the rest of the product lineup makes up enough for the single model’s carbon emissions to still maintain overall portfolio neutrality. “Carbon neutrality doesn’t have to be focused on the powertrain itself. It can have the possibility of achieving it even though you are driving a car with an ICE. So I would not reject the possibility that the next Type R can be ICE. However, given the current circumstances, this is very unlikely,” Kakinuma told Autocar. Unlikely, but very interesting! In the U.K., the Civic Type R is the only Honda that is not electrified in some manner.

We fed an AI image generator the all-electric Honda e and asked for a hot Type R model, above is a gallery of the results.

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