Base Civic Type R reportedly surfaces in NHTSA docs

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

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
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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.

2017 Honda Civic Type R Nurburgring
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2017 Honda Civic Type R Nurburgring

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.


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.

2017 Honda Civic Type R takes aggressive looks to new heights

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Watch this: 2017 Honda Civic Type R defies the physics of front-wheel drive