Honda Civic RS Prototype: Manual Gearbox, Stealth Appearance

Honda has showcased the 2024 Honda Civic RS Prototype at the Tokyo Auto Salon, providing a preview of a sporty trim for the hatchback featuring a manual gearbox. This variant aims to fill the gap between the standard versions and the high-performance Civic Type R, offering Japanese buyers a more engaging driving experience.

The Civic RS Prototype comes with a striking full-black livery, contributing to its stealthy and sporty appearance. The redesigned front bumper with sharper surfacing and slimmer side intakes stands out, complemented by red RS emblems on both ends for added contrast against the black paint. While maintaining the bodywork and alloy wheels from the standard Civic Hatchback, the visual enhancements give the new trim a softer, Type R-inspired look.

In the US market, the Honda Civic is already available with a six-speed manual gearbox, but Japanese customers are currently limited to the CVT automatic transmission. In our market, we have the 1.5L turbocharged RS with the CVT and the 2.0L e:HEV RS with an e-CVT. However, Honda has announced that the manual-equipped Civic RS will launch in Japan in the fall of 2024.

While the company has not provided details about the powertrain, it is likely to feature the non-electrified turbocharged 1.5-litre gasoline engine. Additionally, Honda has hinted at “further refinements to the joy of driving,” suggesting a revised chassis setup to complement the sportier aesthetics.

The Japanese-spec Civic RS is expected to align with the US-spec Civic Si in terms of performance features. The US model includes a limited-slip differential, rev-matching technology, stiffer springs, revised dampers, thicker stabiliser bars, larger brakes, and a turbocharged 1.5-litre engine producing 200hp. The introduction of the manual-equipped Civic RS in Japan reflects Honda’s commitment to offering diverse options for driving enthusiasts.

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