Type R returns to the Honda stable in the form of the latest Civic

By Hugh Maguire


By Hugh Maguire



Honda Civic Type R

Honda Civic Type R

After a long wait the Type R returns to the Honda stable in the form of the latest Civic.

The new Civic Type R is Honda’s answer to the VW Golf R and Renault Megane RSR both widely acclaimed as being superb hot hatch’s.

The legendary “Type R”designation is only ever given to the most sporting models in the range and if anyone can draw on motor sport experience and knowledge to create a top class hot hatch it is Honda. So to the newly launched Civiv Type R.

Powered by a high revving 2.0 litre VTEC petrol turbo and producing a whopping 310 PS with drive to the front wheels the new Type R certainly packs a punch.

It’s a Civic but not as we know it! While based on the 5-door Civic body shell the addition of a front spoiler, downforce generating outlets in the front wings, a rear diffuser and a simply massive rear wing guarantee that you will not go unnoticed in this car.
People’s reaction was mixed. Many felt it looked too “boy racer” like and that it was all a bit over the top. Certainly I would question the need for the massive rear wing as really there are many faster cars that perform without one.

Anyhow judge for yourself, but its all a bit love it or hate it really. Again its basically a Civic interior but tweaked with the addition of superb sports seats, aluminium pedals, sports multi function steering wheel, carbon effect trim and so forth.

The combination works well and you certainly do know you are sitting in something special. The red and black colours are standard no matter what exterior colour you choose.

As you would expect standard equipment is very good and includes, City Brake, a DAB radio, Bluetooth HFT, 19 inch black painted alloys, cruise control, Auto stop/start, hill start assist, USB and Aux ports, and LED day running lights. There is more! Safety is well catered for with ABS, with VSA, EBD and EBA, multiple airbags, and ISOFIX and a full 5 Star Euro NCAP crash test rating. Honda Connect, is standard too with internet browsing, sat nav and rear view parking camera.

This Civic Type R is all about performance with a capital P! A 2.0 litre petrol turbo, revving to 7,000rpm, 6 gears and all this power fed to the front wheels via a high tech limited slip differential. Here are the stats. 0 to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds and top speed 270km/h around 167 mph in “old” money. Yet it costs just €570 per year to tax.

There is an R button which instantly stiffens up the suspension and sharpens steering and throttle response but the ride is so hard in this mode its for track day use only.

So whats it like? Well yes its quick and driven cross country immensely enjoyable.

The 310 PS and 400NM of torque is delievered to the road without any of the drama (torque steer) that you could expect when putting this sort of power through the front wheels. Honda engineers have done an amazing job in this respect.

The ride is quite firm of course but not unduly so. There is then a civilised side to this aggressive looking hot hatch. The handling is simply superb Point the Type R at a corner and it will track your chosen line with pin sharp accuracy. Grip is tenacious whether on wet or dry roads. In short it delivers as a fast hot hatch.

However, while that free revving engine sounds great screaming to the 7,000 rpm red-line it has a rather annoying buzz when sitting at 120km/h.

The new Honda Civic Type R is a blisteringly quick hot hatch that performs and handles with aplomb. Its a real road racer but with a civilised side too that allows fordaily use and of course it has all the practicality of the “normal” Civic.

I do find the external styling a bit over the top but some may love it. Honda havewithout doubt created an excellent hot hatch which truly deserves the Type R designation.

The new Type R costs €48,750.