After a number of concepts and a whole lot of anticipation, here it is. The final, production version of the Honda Civic Type R made its appearance at the Geneva Motor Show.
And it’s just taken the title of fastest front-wheel drive car at the Nurburgring – clocking a time of 7:50.63. According to the internet, it’s quicker than a Ferrari F430 (7:55) and it bested the former holder of the title substantially; the Renault Mégane RS 275 Trophy-R did it in 7:54.36.
If there were doubts about the Type R’s credentials, this feat certainly helps allay them. Could it be that the mightiest Civic is totally worth the wait? We’ll have to see when we test it of course and it is expected to land on South African shores this year. Powering the Type R is a new turbocharged 2.0-litre engine. From the figures it seems they’ve clearly addressed one of the previous model’s shortcomings – a dearth of power. It packs 228kW and 400Nm and lays claim to being the most powerful specimen in the breed’s history. Red-line is at 7000rpm and Honda claims a 0-100km/h time of 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 270km/h. There’s no twin-clutch transmission either – just a conventional, six-speed manual gearbox.
The suspension boasts a new adaptive damper system which promises to limit load transfer during sharp acceleration and abrupt cornering. But Honda also mentions that it’s more comfortable on the daily drive. A harsh ride was a major criticism of the old one. Plus, there’s a +R mode which sharpens the response of the chassis and powertrain – in this setting, the torque mapping is more aggressive, steering power assistance is reduced and the damping force is increased. It’s something Honda is adamant you’ll appreciate on those track days.
Now we think it looks great, but as expected, it’s more subdued than the original concepts. Notably, those striking blade-like rear lights were ditched for more conventional units. But the car still cuts a mean-looking profile, with its beefy arches and aerodynamic accoutrements. On the inside, it’s much like a standard Civic albeit with a liberal dose of R-specific items and plenty of red.
Pricing for our market is yet to be confirmed. In the UK it costs around £30 000 (R541 581). Of course, that direct conversion won’t hold given exchange rates and other economic factors.