Honda just unveiled the 2020 Civic Type R hot hatchback not too long ago, but it seems like the Japanese automaker is already pondering its next step for the model.
This is in consideration of the fact that the current generation of the Civic dates back to 2015, which means it is due for a redesign sooner rather than later.
The bigger question now is whether the company will transform the model into an all-electric vehicle. As it turns out, the Civic Type R’s engineering team is already looking at the possibility.
In a recent interview with Civic Type R Project Leader Hideki Kakinuma, he was asked if there is a chance for the vehicle to adopt a more environmentally-friendly powertrain in the future. He said: “Yes, of course, an electric Type R is possible.”
While the statement is far from being an official confirmation from Honda, it is also not an outright denial of the possibility.
For his part, Kakinuma believes the Honda needs to continue developing and building high-performance vehicles and that an all-electric propulsion system could be the answer to that.
“If all the base concept and philosophy of being a Type R is fulfilled with an electric powertrain… sure, this can happen,” he said.
But Kakinuma also said they still need to work more on the combustion-engined Type R before proceeding to develop an electric variant. More specifically, he thinks the current Type R’s front-drive chassis and a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which makes 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, still has more to offer.
“We are not at the limit,” he said. “I personally believe that we can go beyond this level with a front-drive configuration. If I continue to work on Civic Type R, it will be to even further improve the performance.”
Kakinuma, however, clarified that possible improvements on the Type R are not likely to be added to the current generation as it is approaching the end of its production cycle. This suggests the 11th-generation of the Civic Type R is already in its planning stages, although it’s still too early to tell if it will get the green light.