As promised, Honda is dishing up more information on the 2023 Civic Type R. We still don't have all the data boxes filled in, but we can at least confirm the new Type R is indeed the most powerful ever from the factory. Its turbocharged 2.0-litre engine generates 315 bhp (235 kilowatts) and 310 pound-feet (420 Newton-metres) of torque.
For the record, that's an increase of 9 bhp and 15 lb-ft (20 Nm) over the previous-generation Type R and its K20C1 engine, which is largely unchanged in the new model. It's not a huge jump, but Honda emphasises the tuning done to make the car more streetable. The higher peak torque is available at a relatively low 2,600 rpm through 4,000 revs. The updated turbocharger features optimised turbine blades that create greater pressure with a wider range and more efficiency. The boosted mill exhales through a largely straight-through exhaust, featuring an active valve that lets more gas (and noise) escape the system.
Gallery: 2023 Honda Civic Type R
What does this mean for performance? Sadly, that's something Honda still doesn't want to talk about, though we know the new Type R holds the production front-wheel-drive record at Suzuka. It turned a lap in 2 minutes 23.1 seconds, beating the outgoing Civic Type R's time of 2 minutes 23.9 seconds. Like the power upgrade, it doesn't sound like much. But clipping nearly a second off a lap time at Suzuka requires more than 9 extra bhp.
Honda tells us the new Type R is a bit longer and wider than its predecessor. Its wheelbase is 35 millimetres (1.4 inches) longer, and the track at the front is 25 mm (1 in) wider. At the back it's 19 mm (0.75 in) wider, and the suspension is completely retuned versus the older model. It rides on Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres, a notable upgrade from the Continentals it used to wear from the factory. And though the wheel diameter is down to 19 inches, the tires are a bit wider in front.
At this point, we'd love to tell you how much the new Type R weighs, as that's a critical specification for performance vehicles. Unfortunately, that's also still a state secret with Honda. The previous-generation Type R weighed just under 1,400 kilograms (3,100 pounds) in Limited Edition trim, the version that held the Suzuka record. Recently leaked information claims the new R weighs 1,430 kg (3,153 lbs), but the leak also claimed 326 bhp. It's possible these could be stats for Japan-market vehicles, but we suspect the official weight will be somewhere in this 1,400 to 1,450 kg (3,100 to 3,200-lb) range.
Of course, the hot hatch made its visual debut in July, revealing a mature exterior and handsome interior. Red and black is the only colour combination for the cockpit, and all Civic Type Rs shift gears with a six-speed manual transmission. Drivers get an R+ drive mode as well as an Individual Mode that can be customised, and an enhanced Honda LogR datalogger monitors and stores real-time performance metrics. Five colours are available at launch, including Championship White, Rallye Red, Crystal Black Pearl, Sonic Grey Pearl, and Boost Blue.
Pricing is another bit of information Honda still isn't ready to divulge. That will come closer to the Type R's official launch, slated for later this fall.