The new Civic Type R is so compelling, even Takahiro Hachigo, Honda’s new CEO, is chomping at the bit to buy one. During a recent interview with Automotive News, Hachigo disclosed the surprising fact that as the leader of a major automaker, he currently doesn’t even own a car. He’s holding out for the Civic Type R, because after all that’s far more exciting than an Accord or CR-V.
Hachigo shouldn’t have too long of a wait, considering that the Civic Type R production fired up in July. It will be available for purchase in the United States, Japan and select other markets this fall. The 2016 Civic lineup will arrive at the same time, introducing a new generation for the iconic car that promises more excitement versus the past few gens.
While this might seem like a funny little story about Honda’s CEO not only being a Type R fanboy, but also not owning a car, there’s more to it than that. It shows that Hachigo is actually serious about pushing performance and excitement, two things that have been woefully missing in the Honda lineup for a long time. Instead, the brand has fallen into a ravine of mediocrity that has given Hyundai, Kia and other brands a nice opening to steal customers away. The Civic Type R, which pushes out 305 horsepower, along with the upcoming return of the NSX seem to signal an end to Honda’s boring slump.
There’s no questioning Hachigo’s loyalty and understanding of Honda, considering he’s been with the company for over 30 years. He also knows a thing or two about performance, considering his background includes being a chassis R&D engineer. He was involved in developing the original NSX. Hachigo is shaking up a number of other things in the company, including declaring English as the official language for communications between different regions of the world.