Honda has announced the introduction of a new direct-injection turbocharged 1.6 litre mill to be plonked into a Civic, but don’t get too excited – the engine is a racing unit meant for the Civic taking part in the FIA World Touring Car Championship.

The HR412E, as it’s called, is a completely bespoke unit fully conforming to FIA regulations for the WTCC. Developed at Honda’s R&D centre in Tochigi, Japan, the engine has been delivered to the Honda Racing Team JAS workshop in Milan, Italy, where the Civic WTCC is being developed.

“The HR412E heralds a new generation of high performance racing engines from Honda. We believe the innovations that have led to this revolutionary engine will also lead to benefits beyond the race track, helping us to further increase the efficiency of our road car engines,” said Daisuke Horiuchi, WTCC Development Project Leader at Honda R&D.

Whether this will translate into turbocharging making its way into the company’s road-going cars like the supposed new Type R hatch being bandied about remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, the Civic WTCC is set to take part in three races this season, with ex-F1 driver Tiago Monteiro behind the wheel, starting at Suzuka in October. Honda is set to compete in the full FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2013.