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It's Coming: Honda Civic Type R Makes North American Debut at SEMA

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author photo by Doug DeMuro November 2016

The Honda Civic Type R is coming... eventually. After initially showing a Civic Type R concept at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, then revealing another Civic Type R concept at this year's Paris Motor Show, Honda has finally trotted out the hot hatchback for its North American debut at the SEMA show in Las Vegas.

I, personally, am not at the SEMA show, because I don't want to be mauled by a guy selling 48-inch alloy wheels made solely out of grass -- but apparently, the Civic Type R is there in something Honda is calling a "Civicpalooza," where it's apparently surrounded by many other Civics, including factory race cars and aftermarket tuner vehicles.

So we'll use this as an excuse to go over what we know about the Civic Type R. Although Honda hasn't announced a lot of the final details, we know the Civic Type R will be a 5-door hatchback destined to compete with the Ford Focus RS and Volkswagen Golf R. We don't know how much power it has, but some optimistic sources are hoping for up to 340 horses (the Focus RS has 350; the Golf R has 292). We also don't know what engine powers it, but many are suggesting a turbocharged 4-cylinder -- a big break from the naturally aspirated VTEC Honda models of yore.

What we do know is that Honda definitely plans to bring this one to the U.S., after years of holding high-performance "Type R" models hostage from our market (except, of course, for the lovely late-1990s/early-2000s Acura Integra Type R). We also know Honda's timing couldn't be better: the Civic Type R will likely arrive by the end of next year, which places it squarely in the middle of the hot hatch revolution that includes not just the Focus RS and Golf R, but the Focus and Fiesta ST, the Mercedes GLA45 AMG, and the latest versions of the Volkswagen GTI.

We'll have more on the new Honda Civic Type R as we discover it. In the meantime, if you're at SEMA, head over to "Civicpalooza" and be one of the first people in North America to see a Type R model on our continent.

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It's Coming: Honda Civic Type R Makes North American Debut at SEMA - Autotrader