You read the headline and then perhaps you read the byline. “How could this be?” you wondered. “How could Kristen, whose policy is to generally sportify everything, possibly reject the idea of a Honda E Type R?” Well, it’s true. This is a car I don’t want and nobody needs.
Not once, when I read stories about the E’s wonderful design, admired its pretty colours, agreed with my colleagues’ takes, laid eyes on its production version and sighed in deep disappointment did I ever think the world needed a Type R version of it. The little car, so charismatic and adorable by itself, does not require a more aggressive and sportier counterpart. That would be excessive.
But Honda seems open to the idea, according to Top Gear. Or, at the very least, it didn’t flat-out deny it.
After the outlet “cornered” Takahiro Shinya, who is Honda’s Assistant Large Project Leader and Head of Dynamic Performance, during a Honda press launch this week, it asked him about a possible Type R variant. Shinya told Top Gear:
“Well, this new platform, the motor and tyres can all take more [power]. What I can say is we love Type R, it’s such a strong halo brand for us. As engineers we want to make Type R of every model, but it’s whether the customer wants it that matters.”
And then came Shinya’s big revelation: “You’ll probably see something more in a couple of years, not a Type R, but something.” A Type S perhaps, or simply a more focused chassis option for the standard car, who knows?
Look, the regular Honda E already makes 152 horsepower and it’s tiny. Why do we need more power? Why does it need harsher suspension, bigger brakes and more aggressive, angular styling—all things typical of a car that’s been Type R-ified? Slow car fast, my friends. That’s the way to live.
If Honda must, must create a sportier version, then I pray it doesn’t mess with the E’s face. There is an indefinable charm about a friendly-looking performance car. Notable examples include the Fiat Abarth 500 and Porsche 911.
Anyway, it’s not like I have a horse in this race. I live in the United States, a place where the Honda E most certainly will not appear. Not for another 25 years, at least.