There is obviously a market in the US for go fast cars. A new turbo go fast Civic will probably intrigue a lot of the younger generation. The problem is not so many of them have the money to pay for that technology. Especially when our cars are coming so bloated with technology. The older generation, the ones with the money, are leaning towards the big American muscle cars. Why?...
1. The "Mine is Bigger" syndrome. To these guys it doesn't really matter how fast or how well it handles they just want to be able to let you know they have a hundred+ hp more than anyone else in the room. No factory Civic will compete there. (If you want a 600hp Civic so you can be that guy, bring a briefcase full of cash to Steven at my shop. He can put you one together. Make it a big briefcase though, he doesn't skimp on his builds)
2. Size Does matter, I think a lot of people with the cash have historically been kept away from what they concidered a cool honda (S2000) because at 6' they couldn't comfortably fit. Or get in get out. This, and Americas love of being fat, is probably why the size keeps growing on Civics.
So how do you make a true performance Civic economically viable. Volume is success. It brings down price. Lower price more sales, snow ball effect. Make a fancy AWD type R, but then make make 2 or 3 stages of the SI. Start with the DX version of SI. The young poor kid version. A light weight stripped version, sans all the tech, maybe in a hatchback. If Honda wants to make more money, beef up the HFP line of parts but don't price them out of existence. This young kid can now buy a light weight hood, carbon fiber trim pieces, racing seats etc. as he gets the money. Heck you might even put some performance into Honda Factory Performance, like new intakes and exhaust that will give 15 or 20 extra hp.. Stage 2 might be the EX style family sedan SI. This is for the young new parent who didn't want to give up his hatchback, but times change. He's the college grad that makes enough to justify the extra cash for an SI option. Stage 3 luxury version.
So why build so many versions. So you can hook'em young and keep'em later. I think young people who like fast cars usually grow into older people who like fast cars. I think people get nostalgic for the cars of their youth. I think one of the major buyers of the type R when it comes may be the guys who built up hotrod civics 15 20 years ago. They now have the money to relive the dream.