Honda wants to electrify two-thirds of its lineup worldwide by 2030, which means that future performance vehicles from the brand could eventually be EVs. Hideki Kakinuma, the Honda Civic Type R project leader, talked to Motor Trend about what might happen: "Yes, of course, an electric Type R is possible." He indicated that the major challenge was offering the necessary performance at a reasonable price.
"If all the base concept and philosophy of being a Type R is fulfilled with an electric powertrain … sure, this can happen," Kakinuma told Motor Trend.
Gallery: 2020 Honda Civic Type R Sport Line
Before getting too excited about the Type R EV, it's worth reading Kakinuma's statement to Motor1.com about the future of the Type R badge. "The ‘R’ in Civic Type R has always stood for racing, so expanding into something like an SUV or crossover doesn’t make sense," Kakinuma told us. "The Civic is currently the only vehicle in the Honda lineup to meet our requirements of what a Type R needs to be."
Rumours suggest that the next-gen Civic Type R could adopt a hybrid powertrain because it offers the expected driving dynamics while improving emissions. Opting for a full EV isn't the plan, yet.
If an electric Type R happens, then the new Honda E could be the first to wear the moniker. "Well, this new platform, the motor and tyres can all take more," Honda Assistant Large Project Leader Takahiro Shinya told Top Gear in January. "What I can say is we love Type R, it’s such a strong halo brand for us. As engineers, we want to make Type R of every model, but it’s whether the customer wants it that matters."
The standard Honda E packs an electric motor powering the rear axle that's available with either 136 bhp (100 kilowatts) or 154 bhp (113 kW), and bother variants make 232 pound-feet (315 Newton-meters) of torque. A 35.5-kilowatt-hour battery offers 137 miles (220 kilometres) on a charge. In the UK, prices start at £26,160 after government incentives, and the Advance trim with more power goes for an additional £2,500. Deliveries in the UK start this summer.