Starting 2024, Honda will replace the NSX-GT Type S with Civic Type-R GT as an entry on the top GT500 class of SuperGT. The change is in response to Honda discontinuing the NSX globally and currently the Civic Type-R sits at the top of Honda performance car offering that is sold publicly. Civic Type-R GT will still be powered by Honda own 2.0L turbocharged engine per the FIA Class One rule that Super GT adopts.
The Civic Type-R GT as a sedan will surely draw quite a chatter on the paddock as the source car is a sedan, a far cry from the typical performance car that is usually a two seater or at maximum a 2+2 (basically still a 2 seater but with kind of acceptable back seats for kids or small statured people), for example any Porsche 911 or Mazda RX-8. Typical sports cars are compact to reduce weight and easier to manage aerodynamics which is not always the case for a sedan.
Japan Super GT is no stranger to odd car entries, after all, Toyota Prius and Subaru Impreza was fielded and both a 4 door car. However, both cars runs on the lower end GT300 class while Honda Civic Type-R GT will run against Toyota and Nissan best sports cars, the Supra and the Z. Japan Super GT obviously is not a production based race as it’s a silhouette racer series, meaning that the car raced on the series is only based off the physique of a production car with standardized components. For example, Toyota Supra being raced on Super GT is not the same Toyota Supra being sold on the market. The publicly sold Toyota Supra is using a 2.0L turbo engine made by BMW, while the Super GT Supra is using a 2.0L turbo engine made by Toyota. Same goes to the transmission and suspension system which is using standardized components for all participants.
By using Honda Civic Type-R gen V chassis, Honda racing engineers have quite a handful issues to tackle. First thing first, sports cars are low slung short cars for weight and aerodynamic reasons mentioned above. The Civic Type-R as it is based off a 4 door family hatchback is well, quite big. The production Civic Type-R has 1,890 mm width, 4,595 mm length, and 1,404 mm height. For size comparison, the production Toyota Supra has 1,865 mm width, 4,380 mm length and 1,290 mm height. Aerodynamic wise, Honda racing engineers needs to deploy every trick they have learned from decades of racing experience. As a spectator of the sport, I don’t know how to tackle the height of the car, but I do sure know that Honda engineers can take advantage of the extra length of the car to maximize ground effect just like current Formula 1 cars.
So sayonara NSX, thank you for the dreams, konnichiwa Civic Type-R, I’m expecting great things.