Civic Type R's future could include all-wheel drive, more power

Honda's already hard at work thinking about how to expand the Civic Type R's appeal.

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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The 2017 Honda Civic Type R hasn't even been on sale for an entire week yet, but Honda's head honchos are already set to build a few more variants.

Honda is planning additional variants of the Civic Type R for future model years, Automotive News reports, citing an interview with Hideki Matsumoto, the Civic's chief engineer. "We're hoping that by gradually putting out more [variants] that we'll be able to maintain a more stable sales volume," Matsumoto said through an interpreter.

These new Type Rs could include a properly bonkers variant with additional horsepower, as well as a watered-down version that would appeal more to a buyer's grand-touring side -- it would still be plenty capable, but it would have a slightly better on-road demeanor.

2017 Honda Civic Type R
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2017 Honda Civic Type R

If you think a $10,000 dealer markup on a front-drive Civic is nuts, wait until you add two more driven wheels.


Perhaps the most interesting addition to the Type R, however, is the idea of adding all-wheel drive. Literally every other vehicle in the Type R's segment -- whether it's the Subaru WRX STI, Volkswagen Golf R or Ford Focus RS -- come with AWD standard, whereas the Civic is limited to front-wheel drive. 

Automotive News points out that these could have been included with the new Type R's debut, but Honda wanted to keep the idea of the Civic Type R pure as it was finally introduced to the US market after 20 years and several generations in Europe and Japan. Now that we've had a chance to drive it, we love it, but there's always room for a little more here and there. All-wheel drive would help it line up better against the competition, at least on paper.

The 306-horsepower hot hatch comes in a single trim in the US -- Touring, which includes LED headlights, adaptive dampers and an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There's a lower trim available in other markets, and there were rumors that trim would come to the US, but for now, we're making do with one.

Right now, due to limited volume, most dealerships are marking up Civic Type Rs by thousands of dollars -- in some cases, dealers are adding more than $10,000 to the list price. What was once affordable-ish, with its $33,900 MSRP, is slowly becoming another plaything of the well-off, which is a big ol' bummer. My hope is that this news might cause those markups to fall as the promise of a bigger, better CTR is now out in the open.

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