Honda reveal bizarre, silly Civic Type R ute — and we want one
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When the highly anticipated Honda Civic Type R came out last year, we quite liked it. Its blend of usable practicality, logic-defying suspension, and devastating performance for the coin saw it get crowned as one of our Car of the Year winners.
But that's not to say that there wasn't room for improvement. We cited that it isn't quite as much of a hoot at road speeds as some rivals (or some ancestors), the interior wasn't the most befitting of the price-tag, and ... well ... have you seen it?
But, 'we wished Honda chopped the bum off and turned it into a ute' wasn't really a thought on our radar.
Nonetheless, Honda's Product Engineering department in the UK have given us the answer to a question that not a single person on the planet was asking. "Project P" as they call it was revealed overnight; a two-seated, front-wheel drive, slice of hot-hatch-ute weirdness.
The mechanicals remain largely unchanged, meaning that this little Honda is still a proper circuit-carving beast capable of 265km/h. Only now it can haul lawnmowers in the back for the ultimate Honda meme-within-a-meme. The build took Honda's crack team of engineers eight weeks in total.
“We have a special projects division at the factory in Swindon and this project was a fantastic opportunity for the team to show just what their creative minds could do," said project lead Alyn James.
"The passion that our engineers have for Honda is shown in our latest creation and we are even considering taking it to the Nurburgring to see if we can take the record for the fastest front-wheel drive pickup truck!”
Arguably the most impressive thing in all of this is that Honda have been able to retain the production car's huge, polarising rear wing. It's just that now instead of the tailgate hinging up high like a traditional hatchback, it hinges from the tops of the bed. A diamond-plate bed and thick sports bar complete the look.
Honda have confirmed — surprisingly enough — that Project P isn't scheduled for production. But if they took it to the Green Hell, it would be curious to see how close to the current 'World's Fastest Ute' record it would be. That mark is currently held by Holden's VF Commodore SS Redline, via an impressive 8min 19.4sec lap-time it set last year.
The normal FK8 Type R's 'ring record is a rapid 7min 43.8sec. Even though Project P is most likely lighter than the production car, it could well lose time thanks to the aerodynamic shortcomings of that new rear-mounted bed and tailgate.
We hope they take the hacked-up Civic to the Nurburgring. Even if it's just for giggles.