The newly unveiled Honda Civic Type R at the Geneva Motor Show seems like a cruel trick being played on North American hot hatch fans. Even if the European model's oblong shape and massive wing don't make for the pinnacle of automotive beauty, it's hard to question the vehicle's performance capability, especially after the 7:50.63 lap around the Nurburgring Nordschleife.
The heart of the Civic Type R is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder pumping out 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet with a six-speed manual. The combination is reportedly good for a sprint to 62 miles per hour in 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 167 mph. Honda also fits the CTR with Brembo brakes and adaptive dampers, while a special suspension setup reportedly helps in the fight against torque steer.
While the big wing catches the eye first, Honda adds to the aggressive look with a new rear diffuser, front splitter and deeper side skirts. Also, the vents behind the front wheels help air through the engine bay to keep things running cool. Inside, front occupants are hugged by sport seats with big bolsters to keep them in place.
With the forthcoming NSX and return to Formula One, Honda appears on the very cusp of a performance renaissance, and the Civic Type R is just one more step in that direction. Thankfully, at least one rumor indicates its turbocharged engine might make it into the North American Civic at some point.