2023 Honda Civic Type R revealed for first time - and we're excited

Honda has revealed the new 2023 Civic Type R for the first time, albeit still clad in its fetching camo wrap, as the feistiest version of the compact car continues its testing. It's based on the 11th generation Civic – sales of which began earlier this year in sedan form – and will be the 6th outing for the Type R badge on the car.

Honda launched the first Civic Type R back in 1997, basing the hot hatch on the 3-door Civic 6th gen. After that, several iterations gave the automaker ample opportunities to show off its chassis tuning talents, not to mention the performance from its VTEC engines.

Fans, therefore, were pleased to see that even as the 11th Gen Civic was announced, Honda was quick to confirm that a Type R version was in development too. It would take a little longer to cook up than the Civic sedan and hatchback, however. Honda reiterated today that the next-gen Civic Type R won't be introduced until sometime in 2022.

Development is still underway, and the prototypes are apparently heading off to the infamous Nüburgring – the twisting race track in Germany – to be put through their paces and refined. As with previous Type R models, we're not expecting the 2023 Civic Type R to deliver more horsepower than the usual Porsche, Ferrari, and other supercars found at the track, but the eventual car should be a whole lot more attainable.

It may also be a little less extreme in its styling than the current Civic Type R. That's a riot of grilles, vents, spoilers, and flares, a far cry from the earlier days of the Type R where visual differences from the regular Civic were fairly slight. Indeed, one of the few complaints about the current model is that it wears its performance identity a little too bluntly.

Honda may well be learning from that feedback. Though wrapped up in camouflage and still a prototype, the new Civic Type R definitely seems a little less "extreme" visually than its predecessor. The most obvious features to distinguish it are a large rear spoiler – prominent, but definitely less outlandish than the current spoiler – and the trio of tailpipes. It's clear they're framed with a new diffuser, too, compared to what the standard Civic hatchback sports.

As for what's under the hood, there Honda is being similarly coy. The expectation is that the existing 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine will be carried over; that currently delvers 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. A tune-up is likely, however, nudging those power figures north a little.

Meanwhile, a manual transmission will keep Honda's credential among the enthusiast community intact. The automaker could do a lot worse than simply carry over the excellent six-speed from the existing car, frankly. However there's chatter of a new dual-clutch automatic transmission joining the options sheet, broadening the hot hatch's appeal to those who can't handle three pedals.