Yuji Matsumochi, assistant large project leader for the 10th-generation Civic powertrain, spoke to Car Advice and told them Honda considered an automatic transmission option, but it would have affected the weight balance and handling too much.
“The Type R needs a lightweight powertrain because it is front-wheel drive, and (it) needs lightweight powertrain systems. So the engine is a little bit heavy, so the transmission side needs to be more lightweight,” Matsumochi said.
The weight is already unevenly distributed at 62.5/37.5 front to rear with a manual Type R. Combine that with a heavy-duty transmission capable of handling the Type R’s 295 lb-ft of torque and it wouldn’t have met Honda’s standards. In addition to the performance gains, Honda Type R tradition calls for a manual transmission, so we’re glad three pedals are the only option in this hot hatch.
Looking back at the only other Type R to wash up on U.S. shores, the Integra Type R’s weight distribution is almost identical to the new Civic at 62/38; it looks like Honda has found a sweet spot there.