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Honda Says Electric Type R Could Happen

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2020 Honda Civic Type R GT seat
Photo: Honda

Honda plans to electrify more than two-thirds of its global lineup by 2030, and while performance vehicles tend to be the last to receive electrification, it doesn’t entirely leave them out of the picture. In fact, Honda Civic Type R project leader Hideki Kakinuma says it’s entirely possible that Honda would eventually make an electric Type R.

“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. In other words, any electric propulsion system destined for a Honda Type R vehicle would have to provide the excitement that Honda deems necessary for the Type R brand, while still being reasonably affordable for customers.

Note that this does not necessarily mean that Honda would make an electric Civic Type R. The Type R badge could theoretically be applied to any Honda vehicle — but not Acura, Kakinuma says. In practice, however, only the Civic really fits Honda’s needs for that kind of performance product at the moment.

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Honda e plugged in
Photo: Honda

“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 said. “The Civic is currently the only vehicle in the Honda lineup to meet our requirements of what a Type R needs to be.”

Though the Civic is the only eligible Type R vehicle at the moment, this may not always be the case. The upcoming Honda e, for instance, is already fully electric and could be just the right platform for a new Type R model. “This new platform, the motor and tires can all take more,” Honda’s Takahiro Shinya told Top Gear last month.

If the Honda e can’t cut it, however, the Civic ultimately might. There have been rumors circling for nearly a year that the next-gen Civic Type R would be a hybrid, and though that’s not quite an electric Type R, it would certainly be a step in that direction.

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