Hot Honda Civic and Type R due

* Hot Honda Civic due in spring 2013 * Cosmetic upgrades; tweaked 1.8 engine * Civic Type-R due later in the year...

Hot Honda Civic and Type R due

A hot Honda Civic model is due next spring, before a new Type-R arrives later in the year, company insiders have revealed to What Car?

The sporty Civic will be a UK-only limited-edition model, strongly influenced by the car that competes in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), which is built by Team Dynamics Motorsport.

Honda unveiled two modified Civics at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed one produced by Team Dynamics and the other by tuning firm Mugen. It has yet to confirm which will form the basis of the new model, but the Team Dynamics version looks more like the finished article and Honda is keen to promote its links to the BTCC car.

Both modified Civics have sill, bumper and wheelarch extensions these are colour-coded on the Team Dynamics car and Black on the Mugen version. There's a new-look front grille for both, too, with a carbonfibre effect for the Team Dynamics car and a single-bar design for the Mugen.

Honda has yet to decide whether the new model will get engine and chassis upgrades to match its sporty looks. It's expected to use the Civic's existing 1.8-litre petrol engine, but this could be tweaked to give more than the standard car's 140bhp. Firmer suspension settings are also possible.

There's no name for the new model yet, but Honda has ruled out Type-S, which was used for sporty versions of the previous Civic. Pricing hasn't been confirmed, but we'd expect it to be just over 20,000, on a par with mildly sporty versions of the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.

Honda sees the special-edition Civic as a 'bridge' model until an all-new Civic Type-R arrives. It's due to be unveiled in late 2013, and is likely to go on sale in early 2014.

Unlike the previous three-door model, the new Civic Type-R will be a five-door only. Honda hasn't released any technical details. The new model could follow the pattern set by previous cars, with a high-revving 2.0-litre petrol engine, but emissions regulations may dictate a shift to a turbocharged, smaller capacity engine.

Leo Wilkinson