Honda Type R: Epic R will never be Typecast
Honda's new hatch is worthy of the iconic badge
When the dial on the speedo zips to the far right of the 200km mark you know you are sitting in a fast car.
This Honda Type R is certainly that. Combining a 2.0L VTEC engine with a monoscroll turbo the Type R is fast and boasts 310bhp, 400Nm of torque and a top speed of 270kmph. It will propel you from 0-100kmh in just 5.7 seconds.
The aggressive styling is an exercise in function over form; the vents in the bumper grille provide cold air to the intercooler, ducts next to the fog lights cool the brake callipers, widened aluminium wheel arches accommodate an increase in track width and the overall shape of the car has been designed to increase downforce, decrease lift and reduce drag. The 19" alloys fill the widened arches and are wrapped in specially-designed Continental tyres with just enough space to clear 350mm discs on the front with 4-pot Brembo callipers.
Underneath the new Civic Type R an adaptive damper system allows for continuous independent control of the suspension on each wheel to increase traction and provide stability during sharp acceleration and braking. Despite the Type R putting 300+ bhp through the front wheels torque steer has been reduced by 55pc through use of a newly-designed dual axis suspension system.
On track is where the Type R feels right at home - the R+ setting is specifically designed for racing use and will stiffen the suspension, increase feedback through the wheel and enhance throttle response. This Civic really does make track driving effortless and is extremely forgiving. No matter how hard you push into corners it begs for more. The VTEC engine revs up to 7,000 rpm and as a result the exhaust tone is hypnotic.
But the Civic Type R is a car that will rarely if ever see the track and it also proves a perfectly useable daily driver with decent boot space and all the features you'd expect in a family hatchback but be warned time spent in a Type R could be detrimental to your driving licence.
There will be 2 trim levels available and both in five door. Standard features include the Honda Connect infotainment system from which you can access the rear view camera, phone, radio and allows for full internet connectivity. Air con, cruise control and a 6-speaker 180w sound system. The GT pack adds additional styling and convenience features such as parking sensors, automatic headlamps, wipers and mirrors along with sat-nav, red cabin lighting and an upgraded 212w 8-speaker sound system. The GT pack also includes a range of additional safety features. There will be 5 colour choices - Championship White, Crystal Black, Polished Metal, Brilliant Sporty Blue and Milano Red.
Prices are yet to be confirmed but CO2 emissions are 170g/km which will cost €570 a year on road tax and combined fuel consumption is 7.3l/100km. These are impressive figures considering this is currently the fastest and most powerful front wheel drive hatchback in Europe.
It's been five years since a Honda Civic Type R was available and as a result over time standard Civics have lost their appeal as a hot hatch.
The new Type R may not be expected to sell in extremely high volumes but it will certainly increase the cool factor of the standard Civic.
The new Type R may very well be the perfect compromise for those who spend their weekdays on the road and weekends on a track.
If nothing else it is an ideal opportunity to own a future classic.