How awesome! Ute with Honda Type R firepower under the skin
IN THE battle for the Ute Ashes, the Poms have just smashed the Aussies for six.
Honda's UK engineers have revealed a Civic Type R Pickup concept, sharing the hatch version's 228kW and 400Nm turbocharged 2.0-litre engine.
Named Project P, this bonkers ute will hit 100km/h in under six seconds and top out beyond 265km/h.
Australia may have a burgeoning sporty ute market - with the most muscular examples including the 180kW VW Amarok V6 and 190kW Mercedes-Benz X-Class 350d - but none would touch this little Honda ute at the racetrack.
Not that the Type R Pickup looks in any way practical with the Civic Type-R's spoiler at the rear of the tray, nor will the race-tuned suspension be much use at the worksite.
The large wing and bootlid pivot to fit a couple of lawnmowers - Hondas, of course, and seemingly the load capacity - in the chequer-plated tub where the rear seats and boot used to be. The roof has been chopped from the door pillars.
Built at Honda's Swindon factory, the ute has been modified and developed from a standard Civic Type-R road car finished in Rallye Red.
A black sports bar completes the look: considering the performance on tap here, it's probably necessary to strap the worksite dog to it.
Engine, gearbox and suspension are identical to a regular Civic Type-R. As the Honda hot hatch is front-wheel drive record holder around the Nurburgring, there's little doubt Project P would take the ute crown at the infamous German racetrack.
The one-off ute looks destined never to go into production but Honda Australia's Neil McDonald says if the chance arose it would be an eye-catching addition to local showrooms.
"It's an awesome effort by the tech team in the UK," he says. "Clearly Australians love their utes so if there was an opportunity to bring it here we'd certainly look at it."
The polarising looks of the Type-R, priced from $50,990, create a lot of buzz in online forums - a fun ute version might turn the buzz into a roar.