Cute new Honda concept is basically a pint-sized Civic Type R
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I love today's giant-killing hot hatches. They're great value for money in terms of performance, they're comfortable, and they're practical.
The problem is that in the pursuit of trying to be all things to all people, the pricing on many of them has spiraled out of control. The new Honda Civic Type R is $59,900 — and that's by far the cheapest of the 'top tier' hot hatches.
The forgotten genre these days is the entry-level hot hatch. Yeah Suzuki still make the lovable little Swift Sport, and Ford have just confirmed that the new Fiesta ST is coming to New Zealand. But apart from maybe the aging Renault Clio RS, that's basically your lot.
That's why this little Honda concept has been met with such excitement (for a little hatchback, anyway).
It's called the Honda Small RS Concept; a weird name for a decidedly weird little car. Revealed at the Indonesia International Motorshow in Jakarta, the RS fits nicely into South East Asia's hunger for superminis (the Jazz, Brio, and Mobilio are all small Hondas already offered for sale there).
"Honda Small RS Concept is the implementation of our endless innovation, emphasising Honda sporty spirit, especially in our small-car line-ups," said Honda's Takehiro Watanabe.
"As a concept car, this is our vision of what a small sporty car should be."
Sure, I suppose. To me it looks like they've just hoovered up all of the current Civic Type R's wings and vents, and shrunken them.
The Small RS also features a huge rear wing, bonnet and fender vents, predominantly black side-skirts and chins, and black wheels. There are also a pair of oddly shaped silver portals on either side of the rear diffuser ... whether they're actually functional as exhaust tips is another question entirely.
There's no reference to performance upgrades in any of Honda's press material. Not that it matters too much — the chance of this little thing coming to New Zealand is minimal.