The outgoing Type R came along so late in the ninth-generation Civic’s lifecycle, that Honda never really had time to do anything with it. We had the Black Edition - which involved a trim fiddle and nothing more - and that was that.
This time around though, the Type R has made its shouty presence known right at the beginning of the tenth-generation Civic’s production life, meaning there’s plenty of time to produce various derivatives. And produce them Honda will.
Automotive News quotes Civic chief engineer Hideki Matsumoto as saying: “We’re hoping that by gradually putting out more [versions of the Type R] that we’ll be able to maintain a more stable sales volume,” before adding that a variant “focused more on the grand touring aspect” would broaden the car’s appeal.
A more hardcore version with an increase in power is apparently top priority, and Automotive News also touts the possibility of an all-wheel drive Type R. This is - so far as we can see - speculation, but such a thing wouldn’t be without precedent - VW produces both all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive hot hatches in the form of the Golf R and GTI, after all.
The Type R also has rivals with four driven wheels to consider, such as the aforementioned Golf R, plus the Ford Focus RS and Subaru WRX STI. It should be technically possible too - the Civic shares its ‘Global Compact’ platform with the CR-V, which is available with four-wheel drive.
So, given the choice, would you have your Type R with two driven wheels, or four?