The FK8R Honda Civic Type R remains strictly a three-pedal manual car as the nameplate has always been, though automatic and dual-clutch options were also looked at as options.

The idea of going with these was abandoned because they would have upset the weight balance of the car, Yuji Matsumochi, assistant large project leader for the 10th-generation Civic powertrain at Honda Japan told CarAdvice.

“We produce just the six-speed manual transmission only for the Type R because our powertrain has achieved 400Nm and 320 or 310PS, so, big performance,” Matsumochi said, adding that while the other powertrain options would have broadened the car’s appeal, it would have impacted on the car’s dynamics.

“The Type R needs a lightweight powertrain because it is front-wheel-drive, and needs lightweight powertrain systems. So, the engine is a little bit heavy, so the transmission side needs to be more lightweight. If we applied an automatic transmission, or dual-clutch transmission, for a 400Nm engine, it would be very heavy weight, and very big. The front weight would be very heavy,” he said.

As it stands, the FK8R Civic Type R tips the balance at 62.5% to 37.5% front to rear, and an automatic, whether a conventional torque converter or dual-clutch, would have made the front weight bias even more apparent. Matsumochi also knows that while manual transmissions are enjoyable, they can be daunting to operate on a racetrack, something which the rev-matching system aims to ease.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to control shift timing for sporty performance, so then we applied the rev-match system. It’s so easy and so smooth – so everyone has a special experience to drive the car,” he said.