Base Civic Type R reportedly surfaces in NHTSA docs

This is yet more proof that a cheaper Type R is in the works.

Honda

If you're one of the folks who paid thousands (or more) above sticker for a 2017 Civic Type R, you're probably not going to enjoy this news.

Uncovered documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show two different Civic Type R trim levels for the 2018 model year, The Truth About Cars reports, citing some investigation work from one of its writers.

This picture first alerted me to the fact that a base Type R was probably destined for the US. LED headlights are expensive, y'know.

Honda

The two trims shown are "Civic Type R" and "Touring." For the 2017 model year, the Civic Type R was sold in the US exclusively in its Touring trim, which means it came with all the bells and whistles -- adaptive dampers, navigation, LED headlights, etc. A base Civic Type R would likely do away with a bunch of that.

Further lending credence to the rumor is the existence of other Type R setups in other markets. You can get a Civic Type R in Europe without LED headlights, as seen in Honda's own promotional materials, such as the pictures from its Nürburgring lap record. It's likely that any US base model Type R would do away with frippery like that.

Honda declined to discuss the notion of a base Type R in 2018, because that would be a discussion about a future product, and Honda doesn't play that game -- most automakers don't. It'll probably wait until just the right moment to announce something.

That moment is probably "the moment dealers stop making cash hand over fist on 2017 models." Honda dealers have been applying markups to 2017 Type Rs, given some rather crazy demand. Some were being marked up into the $50,000 range, even. While news of additional Type R supply might rub some early adopters the wrong way, I can't wait to see a proper hot hatch with a price tag even lower than the 2017's $33,900.

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