Home' Open Road North Shore : OR0318 Contents HONDA’S CIVIC TYPE R has always
marched to the beat of a different drum.
Whereas the VW Golf GTI, Ford Focus RS
and Subaru WRX were built around turbo
four-cylinders, the Type R offered similar
performance from a naturally aspirated
four-cylinder. Its power delivery was akin
to that of a two-stroke race bike: modest
until 5000rpm, whereupon it felt as
though a switch was flicked to deliver an
explosion of power up to nearly 8000rpm.
While the old Type R was quietly
discontinued in 2012 (a victim of Europe’s
stringent emission laws), Honda has now
joined the turbo brigade in offering a
potent 2.0 -litre turbocharged engine
with a six-speed manual transmission. Its
figures are impressive, with 228kW and
400Nm between 2500-4500rpm.
The Type R is much more than a style
package grafted onto the recently
launched Civic hatch. Under the
bodywork is a raft of mechanical changes
to whet the appetite of performance
enthusiasts. The suspension has been
revised and features three-mode adaptive
dampers and redesigned front and rear
suspension geometry. With 20-inch
alloys, the track is 50mm wider at the
front and 30mm wider at the rear. Large,
350mm drilled and ventilated front rotors
and four-spot Brembo brake callipers halt
the Type R’s 1393kg, which is just 56kg
more than the smaller-engined and
slightly less ostentatious Civic RS hatch.
The interior echoes the exterior’s in-
your-face looks. Honda’s heavily-
bolstered sports seats are finished in
bright red, and the theme continues
across the dash, door trims, steering
wheel and seat belts. A short gear lever
sits more discreetly in the centre console.
The driving position couldn’t be better,
and with tilt and reach steering and
manually adjustable seats, there’s a
comfortable combination for all body
sizes. Unlike some sports seats that can
be quite restrictive, those in the Type R
are wide and comfortable, yet still able to
hold occupants securely. The rest of the
interior design is built around the much-
improved Civic hatch and sedan.
The turbo engine and resulting on-road
performance should satisfy even the most
hardcore driver. Unlike the previous one, it
lets you can carry a higher gear and use
its prodigious torque from 3000rpm to
great effect, without needing a bagful of
revs. However, I ’m not advocating you just
trundle around and avoid using the sweet
shifting transmission, because you’d be
missing the whole point of the Type R. It’s
simply an easier package to live with in
more mundane driving conditions.
The Type R’s unique suspension,
adaptive damping system and tyre
package complement each other
perfectly. Put simply, the Type R sticks to
the road like Velcro. Pushed into a tight
series of bends, it remains flat, with
excellent body control minimising any
lurching or protesting from the wide
section sports tyres. Honda’s helical
limited slip differential takes care of any
wheel spin if you use too much throttle.
The electric power steering is a
standout. I like how it performs and
provides feedback to the driver when you
initially turn into a corner, but it’s not
overly sharp or reactive if you happen to
feed in too much steering lock. The only
downside is a rather large turning circle
by small car standards.
If you’re the shy and retiring type, the
Type R’s boy-racer appearance might not
be your thing. But you still shouldn’t let
that stop you driving the best performance
small car on offer. – Tim Pomroy
Pros: Performance; improved handling
Cons: Nothing subtle about it!
There’s a raft of changes
to whet the appetite of
50 OPEN ROAD
The Civic Type R
returns after a
The easy way
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DCG-7772-TOR FPA-Tyres-V5.indd 1
6/2/18 11:29 am
Engine: 2.0 -litre turbocharged four-cylinder
Transmission: six-speed manual Power:
228kW Torque: 400Nm Fuel consumption:
8.8L/100km (claimed) ANCAP: Not yet tested
Price: From $50,990 (plus ORC)
Not a shrinking violet type
Sharp driving dynamics match attention-grabbing design in the new Honda Civic Type R
9/2/18 3:47 pm
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