SEMA 2016: A Closer Look At The Honda Civic Type R Prototype

Here is a little “inside baseball” for you.  Before SEMA we create a “hit list” of the builds and cars that we want to cover on the show floor and they are ranked top to bottom by priority.  The Civic Type R Prototype was definitely near the top of the list.  This car is the best look at what the world can expect from the production version of the new Type R until it is officially revealed at the LA Auto Show later this month.

Luckily Honda decided to park the Type R Prototype in their booth at SEMA so that our resident photo-ninja Rex Torres could comb over it with his camera.  At first glance this prototype is pretty wild and aggressive but despite the fact that this is “close” to production trim there are more than a few elements on the prototype that will likely not make it to the production line.  For example, I’m pretty sure the black brushed aluminum textured vinyl wrap will not be an available option.  Though the question remains: what colors will be available?  Will Honda bring back the legendary “Championship White” hue?  When the Civic coupe prototype was revealed it was sprayed with a bright highlighter neon green color.  Will that be an option?  I’m almost certain black will be available but as far as beyond that I am at a loss.

Another feature that I believe is likely to be deleted for production is the carbon fiber aero set up seen on the prototype.  It certainly looks the part, and fits with the lines of the cars nicely.  However, carbon fiber definitely isn’t cheap and to include this aero kit would definitely add serious cash to what is likely to be a lofty MSRP.  It can be argued that since the next Civic Type R will be pricy anyway that the carbon fiber will remain and if that turns out to be the case I won’t be surprised.  Though, part of me thinks that Honda may do away with it.

Well, now that I’ve talked about what I think Honda will get rid of for production, what do I think they’ll keep?  I definitely think the wheels will make the cut as well as Continental Tires that they’re wrapped with.  I am really hoping that the Brembo Brake package makes the cut as well because a high-powered front-wheel-drive car is going to need a good set of stoppers.

Finally I am confident that the wild rear wing will remain pretty much as is in production trim.  Granted it is one of the most controversial parts on the car but it really defines the new identity of what this generation of the Civic Type R is going to be.

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Which actually brings me to the next part of this discussion.  This car has been polarizing to say the least among the hardcore Honda fans.  Half of them are ecstatic that Honda is finally giving them what they want: a Civic Type R in America with a turbocharger.  While the other half are of the opinion that with this car Honda has strayed way too far away from what makes them who they are.  There is a strong “NA Is Best” group in the Honda community that group isn’t thrilled with what is being done here.

Then, there is the new shape and lines.  A quick Google search will net you many memes likening the new Civic Type R to a WRX or Evo.  Personally, I think the design is pretty reminiscent of those cars but I don’t totally feel that is a bad thing.  Although I can definitely see where the detractors are coming from.  Just put a picture of this car next to the EK version of the Civic Type R and it becomes painfully obvious just how far Honda has gone away from their subtle design language.

Click on the thumbnails for larger HD resolution pictures and then let us know what you think.  Do you like the new direction Honda is going with the Civic Type R?  Or do you think they have gone away from their identity?  Give us your thoughts in the comments below or tweet them to us @MotorworldHype.

[Photos: Rex Torres]

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