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Honda asked an Italian team to turn the Type R into a touring car.

Honda has asked Italian team J.A.S. Motorsport to turn the brand-new 2017 Civic Type R into a race car for the first time.

The racer is being designed for the TCR International Series. It's loosely based on the street-legal Type R, but it gets a new look characterized by a huge splitter attached to the front bumper, fender flares all around, and a massive wing out back. J.A.S. explains the add-ons cut drag while improving performance.

The TCR-bound Type R also receives an all-new multi-link rear suspension and anti-roll system. It comes with a full roll cage, and what J.A.S. refers to as an advanced ECU. Full technical specifications won't be announced until closer to the car's on-sale date.

A second version of the car is being developed for customers who want to participate in endurance racing. Notably, it gets additional lighting, better driver cooling, and ABS brakes.

J.A.S. expects to deliver the first Honda Civic Type R TCR on December 15th of this year. The first 25 cars will be built in time for the start of the 2018 season. On the track, they'll have to fend off competition from similarly modified variants of the SEAT Leon and the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

The Type R TCR will have big shoes to fill. Its predecessor -- which is based on the last-gen Type R never sold on our shores -- is currently leading the series with 364 points.