Not only is the 2017 Honda Civic Type R new in the North American market, it recently got labelled the fastest car with a front-wheel drive setup at the Green Hell. Now, the Civic Type R will exclusively be given a six-speed manual transmission, just because an automatic gearbox would make the car weigh too much.
This was explained by the company during an interview between Yuji Matsumochi, Assistant Large Project Leader of the Civic Powertrain, and Australian publication Car Advice. So the Civic will come standard with the manual, with no option to get an automatic variant. This is because the Type R now weighs at 62.5 percent to 37.5 (that's front to rear axle). So a dual-clutch transmission will only make it much heavier, with its 400 Nm (295 lb-ft), which will definitely affect the car's performance.
Matsumochi explained that a front wheel drive will naturally need a lighter powertrain, and since the Type R already has a heavier engine, it will only work with a lightweight transmission. Thus, only the manual will work.
With this setup, the Civic Type R can produce 306 horsepower (228 kilowatts) with the paired turbocharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine. Power is sent through the rear wheels after going though a limited slip differential. Matsumochi further added that performance is not just about the car's weight.
He also said that the Type R is very fun and easy to drive with the manual transmission, but it may be difficult to control sometimes so they decided to add the rev-match system for better shift timing. He described it with these words: “very lightweight, very good handling, good fuel consumption”.
Though it is possible to add an automatic gearbox to the Type R, you have to realise that driving dynamics will be affected, and we don’t think you’d like that. Or you can always opt for the Volkswagen Golf or a GTI instead.
This sounds like awesome news for those who always hoped that the Civic Type R would have a six-speed manual transmission. But don't worry if you're not into driving a manual gearbox. There have been rumours that the lone manual could be joined by Civic Type R variants for more options. The range may include a touring version, and perhaps an all wheel drive option. As Matsumochi said, Honda has many types of powertrains, so they can make many platforms for powertrains in the current or future models.
The Civic Type R's main competitors would mainly be the Ford RS and Subaru WRX STI.