Honda Civic Type R Gets All-Wheel Drive Conversion!

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Though it’s more NSX in theory, this Civic uses a familiar technology in a new way.

Say what? We did a double take: Honda Civic Type R with all-wheel drive? Sadly, no, it’s not a mechanical system sending those turbocharged ponies to all four corners. What it is, however, is pretty darn cool. A pair of ring-drive electric motors gives the FK8 Civic Type R NSX-like all-wheel drive.

Jason Richmond, AKA YouTuber HondaPro Jason, got the scoop on this modified 2018 Honda Civic Type R during the SAE World Congress Event in Detroit April 10-12. First the CEO of this company Orbis, Marcus Hays, shows off a Type R wearing some interesting footwear on the rear. These are ring-drive hub motor setups, kinda like those really cool motorcycles you see occasionally. Before talking about the Civic’s new motors, Hays shows off a demo motorcycle in the Orbis booth. Tiny motor, some “torque multiplication” and other features are showcased. Is it legit? Maybe. The motorcycle looks promising.

2018 Honda Civic Type R Electric RWD System

Will it translate well into a full-size Type R? Well, we don’t get any of that kind of footage. There’s some stuff cut in that’s obviously B-roll, but there’s no proof the hubs aren’t just eye-candy at this point. They sure look cool, but we’re okay being skeptics.

Though, if the claims are only mostly true, these hub-motors will be amazing. The benefits include better fuel economy, more power, better handling, better weight balance, cooler brakes (for racing), and so on. So, an aftermarket-made Civic that’s doing a modern NSX impression. Not a bad role model in our book.

We looked around YouTube and the Internet at large but couldn’t find much on these guys. Here’s an odd video of the “wheel” in action and another just teasing us without ever taking the Type R for a drive. They registered their site a little over a year ago, but have been developing the technology for “5 years” according to Hays. He says he can get Richmond behind the wheel within 90 days.

Do you think it’s legit? Or just more vaporware? Join us in the forums and let us know what you think.

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Austin Lott is a longtime auto journalist who loves writing about cool cars and hearing the stories behind them. He is a regular contributor to popular Internet Brands Auto Group websites, including Honda-Tech and 6speedonline. Although he's partial to Japanese imports, he'll give anything cool a shot.

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