Automakers, not to mention those in the specialty modification scene, have been transforming normal cars into all sorts of wild creations. One such aberration the industry sees from time to time is the emergence of the sports car pickup. Why? No one knows.
Outside of Holden, BMW seems especially fond of this odd hobby, creating flat bed versions of their E30 M3 in 1986 and again for their E90 M3 in 2011. Honda apparently has been watching in envy, waiting for the opportune moment to try their hand at making their own Franken-ute. Perhaps they just needed the right car.
Appears they’ve found it in the form of the FK8, which today still stands as the fastest front-wheel drive production car to lap the Nurburgring. Built in the UK in Honda’s manufacturing facility in Swindon, under the name Project P by a specialist team from the Product Engineering department, this Civic Type R Pickup was presented at last week’s annual SMMT Test Day driving event.
The team responsible used a pre-production shell of the FK8 Type R in Rallye Red and went to town, modifying everything rearward from the B-pillar. Concessions had to be made, of course, and thus this car doesn’t really function like a pickup in that it’s missing a tailgate.
Still, there is a usable flat bed where the rear seats and boot would usually be, and a retained hatchback opening mechanism that raises instead of lowers. To keep the car’s structural integrity, stabilising bars have been added and, for good measure, they’ve also attached the very large fixed wing from the FK2 Type R. Like on the standard car, that spoiler is attached to the boot and will raise along when aforementioned hatchback mechanism is invoked.
Elsewise, nothing really has been altered on this particular FK8, which was bound to end up being crushed and recycled anyway. In becoming a one-off, it’s managed to avoid its demise, and will likely forever be kept as a showcase.
Under the bonnet, the same drivetrain and running gear are present and accounted for, meaning a 2.0-litre turbocharged VTEC four-cylinder developing 228kW drives the front wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission. Despite its modifications, Honda says this Civic Type Ute will dispatch the 100km/h run in 6 seconds flat and be capable of a 265km/h top speed.
Alyn James, project lead, commented: “We have a special projects division at the factory in Swindon and this project was a fantastic opportunity for the team to show just what their creative minds could do. The passion that our engineers have for Honda is shown in our latest creation and we are even considering taking it to the Nurburgring to see if we can take the record for the fastest front wheel drive pickup truck!”