Honda has expanded its Civic Type R line-up to include what it terms as the “most extreme” version of the hot hatch yet.

The rather unimaginatively named Civic Type R Limited Edition is part of the facelifted range, alongside the standard model and the new Type R Sport Line, which employs a “stealthier look”.

The Limited Edition version is billed as the “purest expression of Type R to date”, featuring new lightweight components, a stripped-back interior, “enhanced” driving dynamics and updated styling. The turbocharged 2,0-litre, four-cylinder engine, though, is unchanged, still sending 228 kW and 400 N.m to the front axle via a six-speed manual for a claimed zero to 100 km/h time of 5,7 seconds.

The Japanese firm says the new version was developed with track performance as its “core focus”, which the company believes has resulted in the “most dynamic front-wheel-drive hatchback available”.

In the interests of weight saving, Honda has binned the infotainment and air-conditioning systems, while also reducing sound-deadening materials in the roof, rear hatch panel, front bumper and dashboard. The result is a saving of some 47 kg. In a thinly veiled swipe at Renault’s Mégane RS Trophy-R, Honda says the Limited Edition retains its rear seats and everyday usability, “unlike other brands’ track-focused performance hatchbacks”.

The new Type R Limited Edition features lightweight 20-inch forged BBS alloy wheels (wrapped in Michelin Cup 2 rubber), modified dampers and recalibrated steering. It also introduces a new “Sunlight Yellow” exterior paint colour as well as a dark chrome Civic badge at the rear plus gloss-black paint for the roof, side mirrors and intake vent on the bonnet.

Inside, you’ll find red bucket seats and a red Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel, along with a new teardrop-style gear knob. Each model features a plaque marking the build number of the vehicle.

And the Civic Type R Sport Line? Well, this variant features more discreet aerodynamic styling and what Honda dubs a “more refined ride” (thanks to 19-inch alloys wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sports 4S tyres with softer sidewalls). It employs a low-deck rear spoiler instead of the usual towering wing and also gains a grey accent line running along the lower edge of the vehicle. Inside, the Sport Line opts for black bucket seats with red stitching.

It remains to be seen whether the new variants will be part of the facelifted Civic Type R range that is expected to launch in South Africa later in 2020...

[UPDATE: Honda Motor Southern Africa has confirmed to CARmag.co.za it has "no plans" to introduce the Limited Edition or Sport Line variants locally. However, the facelifted Type R is scheduled to arrive in the third quarter of 2020]