That model? The revived Civic Type R hot hatch that will be manufactured at Honda’s England assembly plant and exported to markets worldwide, including Japan and the U.S.
“Unfortunately, I don't have a car now,” he said. “But I want to buy the Civic Type R.”
The Type R speaks both to Hachigo’s personal predilections and professional plans. Regarding the latter, he aims to revive Honda’s reputation as a purveyor of innovative engineering, stylish fun and cutting-edge cool. “I joined Honda because I loved cars and driving,” Hachigo said.
He counts the upcoming Type R, along with the just-released Japan-market S660, an open-top turbocharged mini roadster, as the two Honda nameplates he’s most excited about.
The Type R has front-wheel drive, and is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. It generates 306 hp, and Honda is quoting a 0-to-62 mph time of 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 167 mph.
Hachigo, 56, developed his tastes in his youth behind the wheel of his family’s Toyota Celica. But when it came time to buy his first car after joining Honda, he picked a three-door Wonder Civic. Later, with family in tow, he migrated to the Accord and then the Odyssey minivan.
He was assistant chief engineer for the second-generation Odyssey minivan in 1999.
Today, his garage is occupied only by his wife’s car – a red-and-black Honda N-One, a boxy minicar. But Hachigo says he’s hardly at her mercy for bumming rides.
Honda’s vast array of other rolling products rode to the rescue.
“Since I miss driving at the moment, I bought a small motorbike, a VTR 250,” he said of the 250-cc Honda runabout. “I keep the VTR 250 at my apartment and ride it every now and then.”
But when it comes to four wheels, Hachigo says he’s on hold for the Type R. And chances are, he is one customer that won’t be left waiting for delivery when the cult classic returns.