Honda Civic Type R to go hybrid as part of electrification plans

The next-generation Honda Civic Type R will get a hybrid powertrain as part of the car maker’s accelerated electrification plans announced today.

The next Civic Type R hot hatch, due from 2021, is likely to adopt a similar set-up to the NSX supercar’s hybrid system, given its tried and tested formula for performance, rather than use a fully electric powertrain.

The NSX’s hybrid powertrain combines a twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with three electric motors for a combined total of 573bhp. Given the Type R doesn’t need the power of the NSX, the hatch could use a 2.0-litre petrol combined with electric motors to undercut the current generation’s 0-62mph sprint of 5.8sec.

The move is part of an electrification strategy, announced at the Geneva motor show, in which Honda said it wants to make its European sales completely electrified by 2025.

Two years ago, it revealed it planned to make two-thirds of its sales electrified by 2025, but this has now been superseded by more ambitious intentions to electrify the whole range.

Tom Gardner, Honda Europe boss, said: “Since we made that first pledge in March 2017, the shift towards electrification has gathered pace considerably. Environmental challenges continue to drive demand for cleaner mobility. Technology marches on unrelenting and people are starting to shift their view of the car itself.”

Dave Hodgetts, Honda UK boss, told Autocar that the decision was likely aided by the current success of the recently launched hybrid CR-V. In the UK, it accounts for 60% of overall sales of the compact SUV. Previously, diesel, which is no longer offered, made up two-thirds of CR-V sales.

The announcement ties in with Honda’s recent revelation that it will shut its Swindon plant in the UK in 2021, a move explained by Honda’s “commitment to electrified cars”. It said, at the time, that it would revise manufacturing locations to those areas where volume is expected to be high. This is most likely to be China and Japan.

Today’s announcement tallies with the public debut of the e Prototype, a near-production-ready version of the well-received Urban EV concept. Aimed at urban commuters, it will offer a range of 125 miles on under WLTP test regime and offer an 80% charge from empty by fast-charging in 30 minutes.

It will be the first pure-electric model for Honda in Europe and sit alongside the CR-V hybrid as the only two models in the maker’s electrified line-up. A hybrid variant of the Jazz is due to arrive next followed by the Civic in 2021.

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