Electric Honda Civic Type-R will only be possible with solid-state battery

Max McDee, 06 November 2022

During a recent interview in Tokyo, the CEO of Honda was asked a series of questions about Civic Type-R and the possibility of it going electric. The answers given by Toshiro Mibe were more than encouraging. Is the electric Type-R coming soon? Not next year, no - but it is coming.

The question was really simple - how far is the current technology away from being used in Type-R vehicles? If you’ve never driven a Type-R, the premise is - or rather was - fairly simple. There was only one rule - keep it light. High revving engines with famous VTEC and the unmistakable trumpet sound were the signature as much as was the car’s handling.

Electric Honda Civic Type-R will only be possible with solid-state battery

The recent Civic Type-R has grown a lot - in power, in size and in weight. The current Type-R weighs 1,430 kg while the FN2 tipped the scales at just over 1,200 kg. Although it is a big increase the car is still light when compared to its competitors - but that’s not what Honda is worried about.

Building an electric Type-R and keeping its weight at the current level is not possible with the technology we have right now - that’s Honda’s official comment. They could have done it now, put a lot of power to compensate for the extra weight and then add clever electronics to help it stay on the road through some twisties but the experience would never even remotely resemble Type-R handling.

Electric Honda Civic Type-R will only be possible with solid-state battery

I’m a huge fan of Type-R, it’s one of those cars that grows with the driver. I went from EP3 to FN2 and then DC5 - and every single one of them was forgiving, ready to teach a gentle lesson every time I overstepped the boundaries. Each one of them was clearly communicating where the grip was, they were telling me well in advance about the limits while singing the glorious VTEC song. My daughter was nearly born in the FN2 but the car was simply too fast - it got us to hospital way too early.

Replicating that specific handling in an electric car is very difficult, physics can be tricked to a certain point but once the weight takes charge - it doesn’t matter how low it sits. There is only so much grip the tyres can offer and traction control systems, although helpful and extremely advanced these days, cannot replace that unique and true connection between the road and the driver.

Type-R cars were built with that one philosophy for decades and although they have gotten heavier, they still handle well. The good news is - Honda is well aware of the desire for electric Type-R. The company will not just throw in batteries and powerful motors and slap a Type-R sticker on the car. No, Honda is working on its own solid-state battery tech that will offer lighter cars.

Electric Honda Civic Type-R will only be possible with solid-state battery

That’s right - solid-state batteries from Honda are coming. Honda is spending $300 million on a pilot production line which will purely focus on development and mass production of proprietary solid-state batteries at its Sakura research facility. The company will not share the tech with other automakers initially and will look to develop batteries specifically for Type-R vehicles and motorcycles at the same time.

The CEO used “fun to drive” so many times throughout his answers, you better believe Honda engineers are focused on delivering a vehicle that will be worthy of the best Type-R cars out there. Apparently Honda is already testing a family sized vehicle that is - you guessed it - fun to drive. It is most likely the Acura ZDX Type S which has been confirmed to be in the works.

Electric Honda Civic Type-R will only be possible with solid-state battery

So - when can we expect an electric Type-R and which one will it be? For it to be the Civic, the technology would have to be very advanced to keep the car this light. But going for a bigger model and sticking a Type-R on it would dilute the brand. We know Honda is working on the electric Prelude for 2026 and the solid-state batteries will be advanced enough by then - what better halo vehicle than a return of a legend? Then there is the NSX as well which again, will be a halo model for Honda as it always has been. We will have to wait a bit longer for the Civic but when it eventually arrives - it should be an amazing blend of old-school handling and power from the future.



Reader comments

you got plenty of free time writing an article.I will keep it short.you gave the only 2 EV cars on the planet that can maintain power till their top speeds.one of them was tesla plaid and it can maintain power upto 270kmh (no mods) as opposed to offi...

  • geemy

EVs are not "powerless at high speed" it's actually much easier to make very powerful EVs vs gas cars (just look at 1000hp family sedan quicker than any stock gas car including super/hyper cars, 1000hp SUV quicker than supercars in a...

no need to lauch an EV type R. EV adds nothing to sports driving experience.it is noiseless,soulless,powerless at high speeds,heavy to reduce handling and breaking.EV is a good transformation for daily family cars but,not for sports cars.



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