If you're looking for a fast car with a reasonable price tag, Honda's Civic Type R is hard to beat. Despite its front-wheel-drive configuration, it manages to hold up well at the track and at the same time is comfortable and practical enough to drive every day. That's why we gave it the Motor Authority Best Car to Buy award for 2018.
The Civic Type R only arrived for 2017 but a new version is slated to arrive in the next year, as evidenced by a camouflaged prototype spotted testing in Europe. The only visible change are the revised fascias front and rear. Each fascia appears to feature new flicks in front of the vents sitting either side.
What isn't clear is whether we're looking at a subtle facelift for the Civic Type R or a new variant. Recall, Hideki Matsumoto, chief engineer for the Civic line, said last summer that Honda was hopeful of adding more variants in order to keep sales volume stable over the product cycle.
At the time, Matsumoto said Honda was looking at a more powerful version as well as a softer version designed for grand touring. A version with all-wheel drive to better challenge the Ford Focus RS, Subaru WRX STI and Volkswagen Golf R was also a possibility, he revealed.
2020 Honda Civic Type R facelift spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
There have also been rumors of a tamer version with less power and a lower price tag, which is evidenced here by one of the prototypes wearing a smaller rear wing.
The 2018 Civic Type R is priced from $34,990 and powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 delivering 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. It's only available with a six-speed manual and the one trim level: Touring.
Right now we expect the spied Civic Type R to be introduced late this year as a 2019 model.
Stay tuned for updates as development continues.