The all-new Honda Civic Type R is one step closer to arriving in the Philippines. After making its global debut several months ago, the 2023 Civic Type R has arrived in Southeast Asia.

Making its regional debut at the 2022 Vietnam Motor Show, the country is the first ASEAN market to actually get its hands on the latest hot hatch - beating Thailand and the rest of the region. Pre-orders for the car are now being taken in Vietnam although official suggested retail prices will only be revealed by the end of the year.

Vietnam first ASEAN market to get 2023 Honda Civic Type R image

Just like the vehicle that was revealed in Japan (and the US market), the Vietnam-spec Civic Type R features the same sporty exterior that consists of a muscular yet sleek aerodynamic design. It gets a more aggressive front bumper, a new honeycomb-style mesh grille, and wider fenders that hide 19-inch alloy wheels. Around the back, the Civic Type R gets wider rear doors, a new rear spoiler, a more aggressive rear bumper that highlights the signature three-round exhausts, and a redesigned rear diffuser.

There are a total of 5 colors available in the 2023 Civic Type R for Vietnam. These include; Championship White, Crystal Black Pearl, Racing Blue Pearl, Rallye Red, and Sonic Gray Pearl.

Vietnam first ASEAN market to get 2023 Honda Civic Type R image

Cabin photos of the all-new Civic Type R for Vietnam are not yet available. However, it will most likely have the same black and red interior as the ones in the US and Japanese markets. That means buyers can expect to see a driver-focused cockpit complete with a digital instrument panel, a new leather-wrapped steering wheel with updated media and car controls, a free-standing touchscreen infotainment system, and the sport bucket seats finished in the signature red hue.

Under the hood is the familiar 2.0-liter VTEC turbocharged four-cylinder engine. For Vietnam, the engine is rated to crank out 320 PS and 420 Nm of torque. This means it produces the same amount of power as the USDM version of the hot hatch. With that, it looks like Honda is reserving the 330 PS version for its home market. Power is then sent to the front wheels via a good ol’ 6-speed manual gearbox with automatic rev-matching.

Vietnam first ASEAN market to get 2023 Honda Civic Type R image

To keep the driver and passengers safe, the Civic Type R is fitted with the latest Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance features. These include a collision-mitigating braking system, adaptive LED headlights, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, lane departure mitigation, lane-keeping assist, as well as a front departure alert.

With Vietnam being the first ASEAN market to get first dibs on the latest hot hatch, does this mean the Philippine market will follow suit? According to our previous reports, several dealerships in the country are already supposedly accepting customer reservations as early as now.

Vietnam first ASEAN market to get 2023 Honda Civic Type R image

We have also received information that Honda Cars Philippines Inc (HCPI) has already received government certification for a vehicle with an engine displacement of 1996cc. Upon checking the numbers and vehicle weight, it all points towards the K20 engine line that powers the new Civic Type R.

Perhaps the only question now we have for HCPI is, when will they actually launch the all-new hot hatch in the country? Watch this space.