Honda is testing a performance model in southern Europe now, but what exactly is this machine? The fact that it’s a performance model is undoubted – huge 20-inch wheels with rubber band tyres, Brembo brakes, flared wheel arches, triple pipes and a lurking intercooler shout hot hatch – but didn’t Honda just launch a Civic Type R earlier this year?

No one knows for sure, but this could well be an early mule for the next Civic Type R. The body resembles the Acura ILX, but with a truncated rear end. It wears full camo, but we can see that the tail lamps are joined by an arc on the boot lid, just like on today’s Euro Civic.

It’s known that Honda is readying a next-gen Civic, the tenth generation to bear the household name. The famously green coupe previewed the upcoming C-segment car in April this year, and we have spotted a long-tailed sedan (to be unveiled later this month in the US) on test before. Now this, a five-door fastback with sporty bits.

Tenth-gen Civic will be a global model. Sedan (right) will debut this month in the US, according to reports

Word is that the next-gen Civic will be a global car, unifying the North American (and ASEAN) line with the European line, and all bodystyles will sit on a new global platform.

Our current ninth-gen Civic FB first surfaced in the US in April 2011, while the Euro Civic hatchback came out later in the same year, in September. So, the hot hatch of the moment is actually based on a four-year old car, and its delayed debut is what makes this “next Civic Type R” look a little premature.

In any case, replacing today’s CTR will be a monumental task. The OTT hatch with the wings and scoops is powered by a 2.0 litre VTEC turbo engine with 310 PS and 400 Nm of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox channels drive to the front wheels. 0-100 km/h takes only 5.7 seconds and top speed is quoted at 269 km/h.

2015 Honda Civic Type R

2015 Honda Civic Type R at Geneva