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Image of Honda Civic Type R

Honda Civic Type R

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Honda Civic Type R

SOMETIMES EVIL LOOKS can sell cars, and when Honda unveiled its new 10th-generation Civic hatchback last September, the sporty shape and aggressive front-end design certainly helped it stand out. If that’s what the standard car is going to look like, we wondered, then what on earth would Honda create for the faster and more powerful Type R version?

The answer came later that month as a surprise entry to the Paris motor show, and the Type R’s low-slung shape, large rear spoiler
and triple exhausts have clearly captured the minds of What Car? readers, because this is the model you’ve voted as the most anticipated new car of 2017. The Type R will shake things up in the hot hatchback market, as it takes on the high-performance versions of the Volkswagen Golf R, Renault Mégane RS, BMW M140i and Ford Focus RS.
To take the fight to those big-hitting rivals, Honda is giving this Type R close to 340bhp from its 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol
engine, making it one of the most powerful cars in this market. However, although cars in this class are increasingly being fitted with four-wheel drive, Honda is sticking with front-wheel drive and aims to set a new benchmark for this type of car.

We’ve yet to see the new car’s interior, but expect distinctive instruments, sports seats and lots of Type R badging. Order books open later this year and we expect prices to rise slightly from the £30,000 of today’s Type R.

Image of Jaguar I-Pace

Jaguar I-Pace

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Jaguar I-Pace

JAGUAR IS ENTERING a brand new market with its first electric vehicle, the I-Pace SUV. It’s a concept at the moment, but we’ll see the production version later this year. When it goes on sale, the I-Pace’s range will exceed 310 miles and it should cost from around £60,000. Rivals include Tesla’s Model X and upcoming electric SUVs from Audi and Mercedes.

Image of Lexus LC 500

Lexus LC 500

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Lexus LC 500

LEXUS IS TAKING on the Jaguar F-Type Coupé and Porsche 911, among others, with its first performance coupé since the LFA supercar. The LC 500 will be available with both a powerful V8 petrol engine – allowing it to beat a 911 to 60mph – and as a hybrid, which combines a V6 petrol engine with an electric motor. Expect prices to start upwards of £80,000.