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2018 Honda Civic Type R missed out on auto gearbox due to weight concerns

By Deeq on 05 Jul 2017 in New model

Attached Image The 2018 Honda Civic Type R hatch will be offered solely with a six-speed manual transmission because an auto would have mucked up the weight balance of the car.

That’s according to Yuji Matsumochi, assistant large project leader for the 10th-generation Civic powertrain at Honda Japan.

Attached Image Matsumochi admitted that the brand looked into a solution to appeal to a broader range of buyers – either with a conventional automatic, or a dual-clutch transmission – but the impact would have been too great on the car’s dynamism.

“We produce just the six-speed manual transmission only for the Type R, because our powertrain has achieved 400Nm and 320 or 310PS – so, big performance,” Matsumochi said.

“The Type R needs a lightweight powertrain because it is front-wheel-drive, and needs lightweight powertrain systems. So, the engine is a little bit heavy, so the transmission side needs to be more lightweight,” he said.

Attached Image “If we applied an automatic transmission, or dual-clutch transmission, for a 400Nm engine, it would be very heavy weight, and very big. The front weight would be very heavy.”

As it stands, the new generation Civic isn’t perfectly balanced: it is front-wheel drive, after all, and has a distribution of 62.5 per cent of the body weight at the front axle and 37.5 per cent at the rear – which is still an improvement over the existing car, which had 65:35 weight distribution.

The numbers would have been skewed further if an automatic were to be offered, and that’s the reason Honda went solely with a six-speed manual.

However, Matsumochi said he knows that while manual gearboxes can be fun, they can also be daunting to drive on a racetrack. But the company’s new rev-matching system on the Type R is designed to offset those concerns.

“Then we decided just on the six-speed manual – and the gearbox is very fun to drive. Easy to drive, however sometimes it’s difficult to control shift timing for sporty performance, so then we applied the rev-match system,” he said of the mechanism that senses when you’re slowing down and preparing to downshift, blipping the throttle to maintain engine speed.

“It’s so easy and so smooth – so everyone has a special experience to drive the car.”

honda civic type r, type r and 1 more...

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Deeq
Written by Deeq
With intense love for cars and bikes since little, and passion for photography, Siddiq tries hard to bring cars to life on the screen, proving his worth as well as his passion for the job.



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Turboflat4 Jul 05 2017 06:38 PM

Missed out? I'd say thank god!

 

"Missing out" here is like "missing out" on a flight that crashed because you were late to the airport. A super lucky break.

Eviilusion Jul 06 2017 01:10 PM
Manual rawks......so why should Honda be apologetic about it!
Watwheels Jul 07 2017 08:57 AM

I think what they are saying it's the tradition layout of the FWD that's the restriction. Becoz of the FWD layout the engine has to be transversely mounted. They have to use a gearbox that suit this layout hence most weight will be at the front of the car. If the layout is changed to a RWD or AWD they could mount the engine longitudinal with a suitable gearbox(manual/sequential/auto) aligned with the engine with better weight distribution.

Unless they are not using the Civic platform I don't think they will change the FWD layout.

Turboflat4 Jul 07 2017 09:04 AM

I think what they are saying it's the tradition layout of the FWD that's the restriction. Becoz of the FWD layout the engine has to be longitudinal mounted. They have use a gearbox that suit this layout hence most weight will be at the front of the car. If the layout is changed to a RWD or AWD they could mount the engine transversely with a suitable gearbox(manual/sequential/quto) aligned with the engine with better weight distribution.

Unless they are not using the Civic platform I don't think they will change the FWD layout.

 

FWD is an "essential" character of the Civic. They likely won't change that, but if they do, they will go AWD, not RWD, I think.

 

The only commonly known RWD cars that Honda has made are the old NSX and the S2000 (I had to google for the rare models, but apparently there are others like the Beat). The new NSX has gone AWD, but there are rumours of a more hardcore RWD version in the making.

Watwheels Jul 07 2017 09:21 AM

FWD is an "essential" character of the Civic. They likely won't change that, but if they do, they will go AWD, not RWD, I think.

 

The only commonly known RWD cars that Honda has made are the old NSX and the S2000 (I had to google for the rare models, but apparently there are others like the Beat). The new NSX has gone AWD, but there are rumours of a more hardcore RWD version in the making.

 

Actually what I wanted to point out is that a gearbox(be it auto or manual) used for a transversely mounted engine cannot be used on a longitudinal mounted engine and vice versa.

Unless Honda stop using the Civic platform and use a RWD/AWD platform dan they are free to use manual or auto or sequential gearbox w/o worrying too much on the weight distribution of the car.

Turboflat4 Jul 07 2017 09:27 AM

 

No, I got your point.

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