With all of the excitement surrounding the Civic Type R's 2017 release and the prototype unveil at SEMA 2016, it's easy to forget that there is a current Type R model still floating around — just not in the U.S.
When word got out that a new "R" could potentially make its way to U.S. shores, the rumor mills started churning out plenty of information. Unfounded, and often times theoretical, the flow of info never slowed. In the midst of all of the hoopla, images of the FK2 Civic Type R began being touted as the exact chassis Americans, and other countries, would be privy to. Those same sources also have paragraphs of info on the "baby S2000" and the top secret, RWD Prelude that's being developed.
Look, it's fun to daydream and hypothesize about these things, and it's almost unavoidable once you really get into a conversation. But when fantasy and desire are pushed hard through the web and social media, it often can morph into "fact," which is a shame.
Nevertheless, as I stomped along the miles of industrial carpeting inside the Las Vegas Convention Center halls, I happened to pass by the Injen Technology booth, and on display was this pristine white FK2. Although I was all packed up and headed back to the hotel, I had to snap a few pics before I left the show. Are there similarities between this car and the upcoming global Civic Type R? Absolutely, but having been able to see the Type R prototype and the FK2 in person, within just a few minutes of each other in fact, a few things jump right out.
First off, the overall real estate — the CTR prototype looks and feels larger than the FK2. Before you start conjuring up thoughts of your uncle's old Lincoln Continental, the proto isn't oversized by any means. I think it's just the opposite, measuring in at what I perceive as the perfect size for a five door. With the FK2 however, it feels a bit shorter and taller. Very European, its dimensions threw me off a bit in photos, and in person I get the feeling that it could use a slightly longer chassis, at least aesthetically. Larger wheels exacerbate that notion even further; however, the Injen car has, at least in my opinion, some very sexy wheels for this particular chassis.
Up front, the bulging and vented fenders of the FK2 are certainly carried over to the prototype, though some of the angularity is massaged on the newer version. Add to that a lower rake ratio from fender and hood, to windshield and roofline, and the two cars separate themselves fairly quickly.
Up front, the three-grill lower portion of the bumper is joined by another grill in between the headlights. The FK2's opening being quite a bit taller, I wish that styling cue had carried over to the prototype, which in order to keep the chassis in line with the rest of the new Civic family, features a small opening with plastic trim both above and below.
Out back, the bumpers are very different, as are the taillights. Furthermore, the FK2 feels very much like a traditional hatchback tailgate, while the proto almost looks like a sedan trunk.
The wing that perches atop both vehicles is virtually identical, except for the proto's being what appears to be slightly taller.
Here's where things get murky. The 2.0L turbocharged FK2 power plant can't be compared to the prototype CTR because simply we don't know what's coming. Honda has done a great job of concealing the final numbers and the details, like where the intake manifold will sit, how much displacement, etc. Again, a ton of rumors and fabricated info has been pushed around the web but I'd prefer to hear it from the source.
Seeing the FK2 in the Injen Technology booth was awesome. It was in perfect condition and actually caught me off guard, as I never expected that car to make its way to SEMA this year. Though I think some of the dimensions and spacing on the upcoming Type R look a little nicer, don't get me wrong; I would love to get some seat time in that FK2.