The Civic RS with 6-speed manual
Honda fans and car enthusiasts have long been waiting for Honda Cars Philippines to bring in a successor to the Civic SiR. There was a glimmer of hope when the 10th generation came with a peppy 1.5-liter VTEC Turbo unit, but there was a key ingredient missing – a manual transmission.
Now that the Civic is in its 11th generation, we’re kinda hoping HCPI finally gives in to this latest addition to the wishlist. Honda revealed a Civic RS hatchback prototype at the 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon, and it’s going to be offered in Japan as a production model soon.
Looks-wise, apart from the different body style, the Civic RS has a redesigned front bumper with a larger lower grille and slimmer side intakes. The prototype shown at Tokyo Auto Salon came in a full black livery, making the RS appear more like a tamer Civic Type R.
While we already have a Civic RS in sedan form in the Philippines, what sets the JDM-spec Civic RS hatchback is that it does not come with a CVT. Yes, it’s what we’ve been waiting for all along – the Civic RS hatchback in Japan has a six-speed manual transmission.
We’ve seen an 11th generation Civic hatchback with manual transmission back in our Honda HQ trip in Japan last year with the red stitching and aluminum pedals of the RS trim, and we’re thinking this could be it.
But wait, there’s more. Honda also said the Civic RS hatchback will feature “further refinements to the joy of driving”, which means the JDM model could get chassis improvements much like what Honda did to the HR-V RS. And who knows? Maybe it could even mirror the specs of the USDM Civic Si which has an LSD, auto rev match, a stiffer suspension setup, larger brakes, and a more powerful 1.5-liter VTEC Turbo with 200 PS.
Honda wants to position the manual transmission Civic RS between the regular versions and the hardcore Civic Type R once it’s launched in Japan by the fall season – that’s around the Ber months of 2024. Hopefully, by then, we’ll learn more about it. And more importantly, we wish the same positioning would be done in the Philippine market.