The 2013 WTCC season has not yet started, but the factory Honda team is already in the planning and preparation phase for the 2014 season, which sees new technical rules come into force.

With more than two months to go before the opening round of the season at Monza, the Japanese concern is the only manufacturer to so far publically speak about its 2014 plans.

According to Motorline, team principal Allesandro Mariani has said that the marque has 'already started with the first investigations into the 2014 season and car', adding that, depending which rules and regulations are changed, it might look at building a 'completely new car'. That would mean the currently-developed Honda Civic will only participate in a full World Touring Car season in 2013, after a partial racing season of development throughout 2012.

Tiago Monteiro, who scored Honda's first podium in 2012 at Macau, has also said that 'Honda has had to make new plans due to the FIA's introduction of rules for a 'new look' WTCC to be ready for 2014', and confirmed that the Civic would have 'debuted in 2013 but, due to the changes to the rules, Honda has changed the schedule and internal structure for the project in order to race the Civic in 2012'.

Monteiro added that Honda 'welcomes the rule changes, realising it is best for the future of the championship.' He went on to add that the WTC Civic was a 'two-year project, so the changes haven't hindered things too much'.

Touring Car Times has already announced that Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro will share testing duties with a revised engine developed by Mugen in Valencia next week, as Honda seek more torque and engine response in preparation for the 2013 campaign.

by Dexter Fielding

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