Takahiro Hachigo went back to Japan after he was named the new CEO of Honda Motor Co. last March but apparently owning a car isn’t on his list of priorities. When asked about his unusual status as an automaker CEO without a car, he responded that he is waiting for the arrival of the revived Civic Type R hot hatch.
He made this confession during this month’s first media roundtable. He said that this model will have its launch this autumn and that it will be produced at Honda’s England assembly plant. The Civic Type R hot hatch will then be exported to markets around the world, which include the U.S. and Japan.
Hachigo, a veteran chief engineer at Honda, said that the Type R appeals to both his personal preferences and his professional plans. He has set a goal for Honda to regain its image as a “purveyor of innovative engineering, stylish fun and cutting-edge cool.”
He admitted that he became a part of Honda because of his love for cars and driving. When asked about the nameplates that have gotten him most excited, he named the upcoming Type R and the recently released S660, an open-top turbocharged mini roadster that will be available in Japan.
The Type R, which is front-wheel drive, is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. With a 306hp output, this model is capable of going from zero to 62 mph in 5.7 seconds and of reaching a top speed of 167 mph. Hachigo, who is 56 years old, was able to get his first taste of driving with a Toyota Celica owned by his family.
When he joined Honda, the first car that he chose was a three-door Wonder Civic. With a growing family, he got an Accord and then he moved to the Odyssey minivan. In 1999, he was named assistant chief engineer for the second-generation Odyssey minivan.
If we take a peek at his garage right now, we will see just a red-and-black Honda N-One, a boxy minicar that is owned by his wife. But what he rides to work is actually a VTR 250, a small 250-cc motorbike.