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The new Honda Civic Type R will finally be unwrapped tomorrow (Thursday 21 July), as the hugely anticipated hot hatchback enters its sixth generation and 25th year on sale. 

The Type R was previously teased in an image (below) which gave little away beyond confirming it will be marked out from the standard Civic by traditional red Type R badging, a bespoke honeycomb grille and a more aggressive air intake arrangement. 

But further details – most notably about what lies behind the grille – will only be made public at the car’s public debut, the date for which was confirmed 50 years (to the day) since the first-generation Honda Civic went on sale. This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the Civic Type R. 

Even before being revealed, the new Type R claimed a new lap record for a front-wheel-drive car at Japan’s Suzuka circuit in April, rounding the 3.6km circuit in 2min 23.120sec – 0.873sec faster than the previous record-holder, the Honda Civic Type R GT Limited Edition

We still don’t know the new hot hatchback’s performance figures, but the broken record suggests that it could gain a slight boost in power. The Civic Type R was earlier said to be “ready for Nürburgring testing”, suggesting a front-wheel-drive record attempt could be on the cards at the Nordschleife, too. 

The new Renault Mégane RS rival won’t be radically different from its predecessor externally. The overall body shape, with its low, wide stance, saloon-style boot lid and big rear wing is familiar, while distinctive triple-exit exhaust pipes and red brake calipers provide another nod to its performance potential. 

The spoiler features a new raised mounting, while the smaller lip spoiler on the boot lid no longer appears to dissect the rear window. Further visible changes include a lower shoulder line, a lower bonnet line and lower headlights, all features derived from the freshly launched eighth-generation Civic hatchback.

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