Mainstream forbidden fruit
After years of only selling the Civic Type R in Europe, Honda finally decided to give the U.S. a taste of what had previously been forbidden fruit. The latest Civic Type R can now be bought at dealers all over the country. It’s an aggressively styled, track-focused hot hatch that’s every bit as wild as previous Type Rs, even if it drives with a maturity you wouldn’t expect from a car with such a large wing. But Honda’s decision to give the U.S. the Type R doesn’t mean it doesn’t still keep something special just for Europe. There’s a diesel-powered Civic we still can’t get.
Honda announced today that Civics in Europe will now be available with an updated diesel engine. And it won’t be some teeny-tiny one that only makes a couple dozen horsepower. The new engine is a 1.6-liter turbodiesel that makes 118 hp and a healthy 221 lb-ft of torque. Still, it’s not quick. Hitting 62 mph takes a leisurely 10.4 seconds.
But while the diesel Civic definitely won’t beat the Type R in a drag race, Honda does say it’s good for 76 mpg (3.1 L/100km) based on European testing standards. That’s quite impressive on its own, but Honda also promises those results will be easier to achieve in the real world thanks to a series of engine and exhaust system upgrades.
Sadly, there’s no indication that Honda has any intention of offering its new diesel engine in U.S. Civics. It could always change its mind, but for now, the torquey 76-mpg (3.1-L/100km) Civic will have to stay forbidden fruit. But hey, at least we get the Civic Type R.