The 306-horsepower Honda Civic Type R is a sporty front-wheel-drive hoon machine. In order to maintain the proper handling characteristics to keep its status of an affordable backroad carver, engineers needed to maintain a fine balance throughout the vehicle. That meant the car couldn't be equipped an automatic transmission of any kind.
The additional weight that goes along with an automatic transmission would put even more weight upfront, throwing off the car's balance and causing handling issues. Unfortunately for clutch-hating folks, this wouldn't be great since the 2018 Honda Civic Type R is supposed to be a well-balanced performance car.
"The Type R being a lightweight front-wheel drive means there is a need for lightweight powertrain systems," said Honda powertrain executive Yuji Matsumochi said to Motoring. “If we tried to have an automatic transmission (option) or DCT for over 400Nm, then the powertrain would be very heavy weight, which would mean additional front weight, and upset the weight balance."
The 2018 Honda Civic Type R is currently on sale for $34,775 but be prepared to see some dealer inflation.