The Honda Civic Type R-GT Concept has been unveiled at the 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon, ahead of a racing debut in 2024.
Designed for the Super GT championship’s GT500 class, the Honda Civic Type R-GT Concept will soon be taking to Japan’s premier race circuits.
Super GT is the biggest domestic motorsport formula in Japan and sees Honda, Toyota, and Nissan all go toe-to-toe for outright glory. Currently, Toyota and Nissan field high-performance prototypes based on the Supra and Z respectively, while Honda’s drivers make use of an NSX-based machine.
However, with the roadgoing NSX nearing the end of production, Honda requires a new racing model for 2024. That, is where the Honda Civic Type R-GT Concept comes in.
The car is likely to undergo some revisions before it’s officially homologated for the GT500 ruleset. Though, visually at least, we can expect the racecar to look very similar to the concept shown here.
Honda Civic Type R-GT Concept Technical Info
From an outside perspective, the transition from NSX to Civic seems like quite a large one for any racing team to undertake. However, in a conversation with Motorsport.com, Honda Racing president Koji Watanabe appeared unconcerned.
“I think at this point, the [downforce] level is not too different from the NSX-GT,” he said. “We are at a point where there are not many major negative factors.”
At the end of the day, beyond its exterior styling, there’s ultimately very little that this racecar and its roadgoing namesake will share in common. For a start, whereas the regular FL5 Honda Civic Type R is front wheel drive, this GT500 racer will send its power to the rear. Expect its engine to be bespoke too. Honda currently uses the HR-420E unit in its NSX racer, which is a 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four capable of 550PS! So, when bolted into a carbon monocoque chassis weighing just 1020kg, these things *really* shift.
We’ll have to wait until 2024 to see if the Civic is capable of taking on the Supra and the Z, but for now, Tokyo Auto Salon’s panel of judges at least seem very impressed by it. The Civic Type R-GT won the Grand Prize in the show’s concept car category, so who knows, perhaps that’s a good omen for things to come…