The 2015 British Touring Car Championship is approaching fast and Honda this week revealed its new Civic Type R competitor.
An official unveiling will take place at the annual media day at Donington on Tuesday 24 March, but the new car has been seen shaking down at Brands Hatch and has been built from the ground up in Team Dynamics’ workshop in Worcestershire.
Honda UK manufacturing played a significant part in the project which began as far back as last September, with the Honda Yuasa Racing team initiating the design of the car before Team Dynamics starting the build in November.
Fully revealed at the Geneva motor show, the new Honda Civic Type R will hit showrooms in July and produces just over 300bhp. However, we will get to see Yuasa Racing and Team Dynamics’ effort at the 2015 Dunlop MSA BTCC opening round at Brands in April and will have around 350bhp on tap and 400Nm of torque available.
An original version of the production car was sourced straight from the Honda UK factory in Swindon by the BTCC parties, who then ensured the Civic Type R has more power than the road-going model and also increased the downforce over the Civic Tourer of the 2014 season that didn’t quite work out for drivers Gordon Sheddon and Matt Neal.
With this new car and going back to the more conventional layout, Barry Plowman, Technical Director at Honda Yuasa, feels very enthused about the coming season: “We cannot wait for the new season to start. Our car for 2015 is going to win races. The shape of the new road going Civic Type R has allowed the team to build on the design and take it forward to be a championship winning car.
“2015 is widely being billed as the year Honda is back and we are continuing that in to BTCC. We’ve worked hard over the winter to ensure we have a winning car for 2015.”
Honda Yuasa has already announced an unchanged driver line-up of 2012 champion Sheddon and three-time title winner Neal, with the latter commenting on the new Civic Type R: “This is a car that not just us, but the entire automotive industry has been waiting for,” added Matt Neal. “We are as excited as anybody to start running the Civic Type R, which is a massive step forward from last year’s Tourer – from the engine to the handling and aerodynamics.”
“The Civic Type R is an iconic car,” added Shedden. “We are champing at the bit to get this distinctive, aggressive looking car out on the track. It’s going to stand out and cause a real stir on the track. Especially when we clean up in the championship!”
The 2015 BTCC season will kick-off at Brand Hatch’s indy circuit on April 4 and run a whole 30 rounds over a 10-circuit championship, with defending 2014 winner Colin Turkington having switched to Team BMR along with veteran Jason Plato.