A year and a half ago, we got our first glimpse at a Civic Type R sporting a wing that didn't touch the sky. And now that more subtle Civic is going into production as the 2020 Honda Civic Type R Sport Line. It features a number of changes that make it more mellow looking, but American buyers hoping to order one are out of luck, as it's a European model only.
The obvious change is a low-profile wing that is almost more of a spoiler. It does still have pointy parts like the rest of the Type R's extroverted body, so it fits in nicely. Another significant change is the switch to 19-inch wheels, rather than 20-inch units. These look less extreme, and they will probably return a slightly nicer ride. The front splitter, side skirts and rear diffuser also get a grey highlight rather than the regular Type R's red line. Inside, the red bucket seats are swapped for simple black ones with red and grey stitching.
The driving experience will be more subdued, too. In addition to the thicker tires, Honda added more sound deadening. The hatch, trunk mat, trunk lining and rear door liners all get more insulation, and the floor carpet is thicker. As such, the drive should be quieter. This insulation does probably add some weight, though, just as the removal of it lightened the Type R Limited Edition. Honda didn't say how much weight the insulation adds.
Now, there may be some of you who have wanted a Type R but just couldn't handle the over-the-top styling, and it may seem surprising to you that it won't come to America. We talked to a Honda representative, and he said the reason for not offering it here is that the normal Type R is selling quite well, and seems to be popular with the younger buyers it's targeted at. As such, they didn't see a need to add this variant, which would take up some of the inventory headed to America.
If you still want a Type R that at least looks like the Sport Line, we bet you could find a way to import a European-spec wing. And local paint and upholstery shops could set you up with grey accents and black upholstery.