Alongside the hardcore Civic Type R Limited Edition, Honda last week revealed something called the Type R Sport Line (above). Ditching the huge rear wing of the standard car and replacing it with a more subtle spoiler, it appears to have reignited the debate about the hot hatch’s wild looks.
However, when speaking to Car Throttle on what was supposed to be the first press day of the cancelled Geneva Motor Show, Honda’s UK managing director Dave Hodgetts insisted the standard Type R’s aggressive aesthetic isn’t the big issue it’s made out to be.
Asked if any dealers had given any feedback suggesting potential buyers were being put off by the way the car looks, Hodgetts responded, “There is a common general feeling that it is a bit extreme in looks, but I think that’s mainly shared by journalists!”
“It is the most extreme looking of the current crop but I’ve never heard a dealer say that,” he added. So why make the Type R Sport Line at all? That’s down to other markets, Hodgetts explained. “It’s very much a European model - in some of the European countries they felt there was a need to have it slightly toned down.
If anything, UK buyers are going for Type Rs because of the way it looks, Hodgetts says. “They [the dealers] are selling them to what you might call a die-hard Type R customer…those customers want it to look like that and they want it to stand out, and perhaps the new slightly demure one wouldn’t appeal to them.”
Honda UK ‘head of car’ Phil Webb meanwhile admitted that the more subtly-styled Sport Line “will put the car potentially on other peoples’ lists,” but is not expecting its addition to the range to give a “huge change in demand” for the Type R.
The updated range is expected to go on sale early in the second half of 2020. Only 100 examples of the hardcore Limited Edition will be making it to Europe.