They say that opposites attract, and in many cases such a juxtaposition results in a great combination. Peanut butter and jam, chilli and chocolate, or even fried batter and Mars bars all make a strong case for themselves. Another bonkers combination came in 2019 when Honda sanctioned a Civic Type R monster truck!
It’s a pretty menacing thing to behold, with the car retaining all of the FK8 Type R’s angry design, but now with a more rugged attitude. Inspired by Rally Raid, Overland and Safari vehicles in motorsport, this hot hatch shifts its focus from lap times to covering rough ground at a pace.
The 316bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged VTEC engine remains unchanged, still capable of delivering strong torque and rapid response to inputs. While such an off-road vehicle would typically be all-wheel drive, this mean machine is front-wheel drive in order to save weight. Honda’s clever ‘anti-torque steer’ dual-axis suspension stays in place to tame performance.
What’s new is a set of huge 255/55/18 BF Goodrich tyres and more robust suspension that has lifted the car by over 3-inches. A widened track also means that additional bodywork in needed to shroud the new rubber. The rear windscreen has also been removed and the boot modified to carry a set of exposed spare wheels.
The interior has been stripped and fitted with a substantial roll cage for added protection and overall strengthening of this vehicle. A pair of traditional Type R red sports seats remain, but now host a motorsport harness to hold up to two occupants in place.
Believe it or not, this hardier hot hatch is completely road legal, with all modifications carried out by off-roading experts Ralph Hosier Engineering. The firm approached Honda with the idea, and Honda supplied a vehicle to see how this very different vision of a Type R would pan out.
Honda have no intentions of putting this concept vehicle into production, but Ralph Hosier Engineering will happily build you one for an undisclosed sum. This isn’t just a show car, it’s a fully functional… off-road hot hatchback, all-terrain hatch, hot overland machine? We’re not quite sure how to categorise it.
There are no official performance figure available for this Type R, but the standard car will do 0-62mph in just 5.7 seconds and go onto a top speed of 169mph. While we’d expect this modification to raise the car’s sprint time, there’s no denying that it will cover the rough stuff at a far greater pace.
This Type R monster truck hasn’t been seen in public since the event for journalists where it was presented on static display. However, we have it on good authority that Ralph Hosier Engineering retains this specific example, and that it remains in good running order.