The hot-hatch market is pretty much full. Renault, Seat, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Ford – all major car manufacturers have their offers. However, Honda Civic Type R is somehow unique and special. It is one of the fastest front wheel drive cars in the world, making even much more expensive and powerful cars run in fear when it steps on a track. And now there is a new one.
It seems that previous generation of Civic Type R is still pretty fresh. It is still the fastest front wheel drive on the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife track, although competition from Seat and Renault is very close. However, because there is a new Civic, there has to be a new Civic Type R. When it comes to the powertrain, not much has changed. The power grows from 306 HP to around 316 HP with 400 Nm of torque. It will still have a 6 speed manual transmission, but now it can blip automatically on downshift – purists are going to leave this function permanently off. Straight line performance is not going to grow by much – top speed will be around 270 kph and 0-100 kph time of 5.7 s.
Throttle response is going to be sharper, while a more rigid body will allow for a better steering response and cornering stability. Interestingly, this gain in rigidity is made possible by the use of a special adhesive. The new Civic Type R is also 16 kg lighter than the previous generation. The lucky driver will be able to choose from “Comfort”, “Sport” and “+R” modes. Suspension is new as well, with a new independent multi-link system replacing old torsion beam. The new Civic Type R should see no problem with torque steer either.
The real differences come in the looks of the car. It is based on the new Civic and thus is longer, wider and looks much more aggressive, although some might say it looks rather busy. It has a smoother underbody, front air curtain, a lightweight rear wing and vortex generators (small bumps) on the rear part of the roof. It is impossible not to notice that the new Civic Type R has three exhaust pipes and the centre one is a little bit smaller. It is not just for looks – Honda says it improves engine breathing and deals with the noise.
And the noise, as we all know, is very important. Interior is improved as well with more comfort features and a better audio system for those times when that glorious noise becomes tiring. The new Civic Type R is very important for the brand, because it is going to be a first truly global hot hatch from Honda. It will even be assembled in UK, while engines will be built in US.