Honda announces BTCC-bound Civic Type R

The race-going Type R packs a 350-horsepower turbo four.

Honda has announced that the new 2015 Civic Type R will compete in this year's season of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).

Built in Swindon, England, the track-ready Civic is based on the street-legal Type R that was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month. It features an upgraded version of the hot hatch's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that has been tuned to make 350 horsepower, a 45-pony increase over the regular-production model.

Bigger brakes on all four corners and a suspension setup that has been lowered and stiffened help keep the extra power in check. Performance specifications will be announced at a later date.

The track-bound Type R stands out from the street-legal model thanks to a more aggressive body kit that includes a deeper front bumper with fewer air vents, flared fenders and a larger wing out back. The R rides on center-locking 12-spoke alloy wheels wrapped by Dunlop tires.

The interior boasts a full roll cage and a single bucket seat. Honda has stripped the Type R of all unnecessary equipment in order to shed as much weight as possible.

The BTCC-bound Civic will be fully unveiled next week. It is scheduled to make its competition debut on Saturday, April 4th, on the Brands Hatch track in southeastern England.

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