Honda Civic RS Lands In Japan With A 6-Speed Manual Gearbox

Could we be hopeful for this stick-shift to possibly be arriving on the local-spec Civic RS too?

To those stick-shift die hards over here in Malaysia, there may possibly soon be some good news on the horizon. Such is because Honda has recently debuted a six-speed manual option in its newly-revealed Civic RS for Japan, which could in turn just possibly see this row-your-own transmission be made available over here too!

Now as to why that Malaysians could perhaps be more hopeful than usual for the potential arrival of this manual gearbox over here, it is largely due to the exterior of this Japan-spec RS to follow the local-spec and be decked out in the same black wheels and even badging. Different however is the slightly sleeker front and rear bumpers, and the fact that this is to be hatchback version of the Civic instead of the sedan body style available over here.

What more is that while Honda has yet to officially disclose what is to be found under the hood of the Japan-spec RS, it will all but likely be the same turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder as found on the namesake variant over here. A powertrain combination which incidentally, the Japanese automaker does already offers in the Civic SI over in North America. 

And in speaking of the Civic SI, Honda’s promise for this Japan-spec RS to feature ‘further refinements to the joy of driving’ has lead to the hope for it to possibly net some of the same upgrades as found on the North American counterpart. The Civic SI currently packs a limited-slip differential, rev-matching tech, stiffer springs, revised dampers, thicker stabiliser bars, larger brakes, and a healthy 200 hp from the aforementioned boosted four-pot.

Though just to pop that hype bubble before it gets too big, the modest brakes and ride height featured on the launch photos of Japan-spec RS unfortunately look to be much the same as its stock counterpart. This in turn does depressing point to the aforementioned enhancements from the SI to not likely be making its way onto this particular Civic variant in the Land of the Rising Sun. 

While on the act of bursting bubbles as well, Malaysians unfortunately shouldn’t really get their hopes up too high for Honda to be bringing this stick shift option to the local Civic RS. In fact, one can already envision for the Japanese automaker to be stating that the low volume production of this sedan over here does not justify for it to make available the six-speed alternative…

It is nevertheless worth noting however that Honda Malaysia has managed in the past to surprise local enthusiasts, with the continued offering of the Civic Type R from its FD2R days being a testament to that point. And in any case, at least with these cars being sold with the steering wheel on the correct side in Japan, it would certainly make it a hell of a lot easier to get all the correct parts from a half cut a few years down the line and swapping it into a local Civic. 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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