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Honda Civic Type R: Paris Auto Show

author photo by Doug DeMuro September 2016

What Is It?

The 2017 Honda Civic Type R is a high-performance hot hatchback that will finally come to America. We say "finally" because the Civic Type R has gone through four iterations available in overseas markets, but the car has never been offered in the U.S.

Although the Civic Type R shown at this year's Paris Auto Show is technically still a prototype, it looks largely identical to the production model, which will go on sale next year. That means you should absolutely expect flared fenders, a huge rear wing, big wheels, aggressive front-end styling and a host of sporty red accents.

What we're less sure about, however, is what's under the hood. It's a foregone conclusion that the Civic Type R is designed to compete with fellow high-performance 4-door hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus RS, which offers an immense 350 horsepower. Will the Civic's hp rating be in the same range? Will it offer a stick shift, like the Focus? And with power numbers that (potentially) high, will it ditch front-wheel drive in favor of all-wheel drive?

None of these items are certain just yet. For now, we're just happy to see the Honda Civic Type R, and we're enjoying the view.

How Much?

It's hard to say without all the specifics, but we suspect it'll start well north of $30,000.

When Can You Get It?

European sales start next summer, and we suspect it'll reach U.S. dealerships soon after.

Add It to Your Shopping List Because...

The hot hatchback has made a triumphant return, and the Civic Type R is proof. While we don't know all the details, its styling alone is enough to make us anxiously tap our feet as we await its impending debut. If you're interested in a little practicality with your next sporty car, and if you're not yet sold on the Focus RS and the Golf R, you may want to wait for the high-performance Civic.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 Ford Focus RS -- The German-built Focus RS is the ultimate hot hatchback available right now, with good reason: For a starting price of $37,100 with shipping, it offers an amazing 350 hp, standard all-wheel drive, a slick 6-speed manual transmission and truly impressive driving capabilities.

2017 Subaru WRX STI -- Although the STI no longer offers a hatchback variant, it still has all the basics to compete in this segment, including 305 hp, a $35,500 starting price, standard all-wheel drive and explosive acceleration. We love it. You will, too.

2017 Volkswagen Golf R -- Volkswagen's newly updated Golf R has nearly 300 hp, standard all-wheel drive, excellent build quality and a starting price of around $36,600. The downside? It's only offered with a dual-clutch automatic transmission. The upside? Unlike the Civic, it's available now.

Used Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA45 -- Want a really hot hatch? Try the sort-of-hatchback, sort-of-crossover Mercedes AMG GLA45, which features 375 hp, a dual-clutch automatic, all-wheel drive and a 0-to-60 mile-per-hour time of something like 4.3 seconds. Floor the pedal, and just try not to break out in a huge smile.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Honda Civic Type R: Paris Auto Show - Autotrader