March 11, 2014 at 6:03 pm by Steve Siler | Photography by Marc Urbano and the Manufacturer
We’ve harped on Honda for some time for going a little soft with its U.S. products, and the fact that Honda doesn’t let us have the awesome Civic Type R—the newest iteration of which was just previewed at the Geneva auto show—is one of our biggest beefs.
One hair-on-fire Civic enthusiast, Nikos Stoufis, has gone grassroots to try and change that. Brought to our attention by Autoweek, Stoufis started an online petition on Change.org intended to call for an end to “the discrimination against our market” and betrayal of Honda’s core principle set out by Soichiro Honda, stating that, “Without racing, there is no Honda.” For the record, the Type R is not a race car, but rather a road car, but we get the point.
“There is no excuse anymore,” the petition proffers. Actually, there is an excuse: bringing the Type R isn’t just as simple as adding a fat turbocharger and a spoiler, but would involve Honda investing in the very costly process of federalizing an entire body style (a five-door) of the Civic, which isn’t sold here even in non–Type R form.
That said, Honda spokesman Chris Martin told us, “We are tracking consumer and media interest in the Civic Type R concept recently shown in Europe, and it’s nice to see such enthusiasm for one of our products. Though we don’t have any plans to bring the Type R to the U.S. at this point, anything is possible in the long run if it makes good business sense. I realize that most enthusiasts don’t care about the business case, but this sort of product decision is more complicated than any single factor.”
Mr. Stoufis deserves credit for spearheading an effort to get the Civic Type R over here, and many of us on staff have signed his petition in hopes that it helps make the all-important business case. At the time of this writing, it was already up over 8000 names.