Auto gearbox would have made 2018 Honda Civic Type-R too heavy
Honda did away with an automatic option for the 2018 Civic Type-R because it would have been too heavy.
We recently learnt that the 2018 Honda Civic Type-R will only be offered with a six-speed manual gearbox. It’s a revelation that will have no doubt raised a few eyebrows in the car world and we can now reveal why Honda decided to do away with an automatic option.
According to Yuji Matsumochi, assistant large project leader for the 10th-generation Civic powertrain at Honda Japan, an automatic gearbox would have messed up the weight balance of the car.
Honda apparently looked into an automatic solution, so the new Civic would appeal to a broader range of buyers – either with a conventional automatic or a dual-clutch transmission – but (apparently) the impact would have been too great on the car’s dynamism.
“We produce just the six-speed manual transmission only for the Type R, because our powertrain has achieved 400Nm and 320 or 310PS – so, big performance,” Matsumochi said.
He added: “The Type R needs a lightweight powertrain because it is front-wheel-drive, and needs lightweight powertrain systems. So, the engine is a little bit heavy, so the transmission side needs to be more lightweight.
“If we applied an automatic transmission, or dual-clutch transmission, for a 400Nm engine, it would be very heavy weight, and very big. The front weight would be very heavy.”
But even with Honda’s conscious decision to do away with an automatic transmission, the new generation Civic isn’t perfectly balanced. After all, it’s front-wheel drive and has a distribution of 62.5% at the front axle and 37.5% at the rear. While this is still an improvement over the existing car’s 65:35 weight distribution, it isn’t perfect and perhaps justifies Honda’s decision to do away with an automatic transmission altogether – something that would have skewed the ratio even further.