This is the Honda Civic Type R Pickup Truck concept, a load-lugging ute estimated to be capable of more than 165mph and a 0-62mph sprint time in less than six seconds.
The one-off hot pick-up was created by a team of 12 specialists at Honda’s Swindon factory from a regular Type R hatchback, with modifications starting at the B-pillar.
Powertrain and engine components remain unchanged, although the car now has a storage bed in place of the hatchback’s rear seats and boot, with an upward-opening tailgate allowing access to the load area. The Civic Type R’s not insubstantial rear wing has been altered so it can be moved to allow better access to the truck bed.
Additional modifications included additional stiffening with an anti-roll bar, and adjustment to the car's SRS system. Custom parts to retain the hatchback's feature line at the side were also designed specifically for the project, which took around eight weeks to complete from inception, with only three of those spent on the build and the first five devoted to planning and research.
It’s not yet known how much the Civic Type R Pickup Truck concept weighs, but it’s only slightly heavier than the hatchback, given the lack of rear seats, interior fittings and roof, with a metal-clad bed and roll bar in their place. The bed is 1550mm long and 830mm wide - or large enough to take two Honda lawnmowers.
Although only a one-off, project lead Alyn James expressed lofty ambitions for the concept: “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 Nürburgring to see if we can take the record for the fastest front-wheel-drive pick-up truck!”
Predictably, there’s no plan for the pick-up to go into production, says Honda UK boss Phil Webb, but the car will be used at the brand’s head office to transport Honda’s domestic products. Unfortunately, it’s not road-registered. Why was it conceived? "Because it's fun and because we like a challenge," said a Honda spokesman. "It allows our talented engineers to be creative."
Fast pick-ups are currently an untapped market in the UK, although the industry has moved closer to the idea, with suggestions of a Mercedes-AMG version of the X-Class, as well as a Ford Ranger Raptor being considered for any market where demand is high enough. So far, only very low-volume fast pick-ups have been imported into the UK, such as the Vauxhall VXR8 Maloo and Ford F-150 Raptor.