The all-new, latest-generation Honda Civic Type R has arrived from Japan, and their offering of a performance hatch is surprisingly a much better handling car, it seems more comfortable, still looks a bit like a transformer, and will appeal to the petrolhead segment indeed.
It has been on a diet and shed 16kg of weight and feels all the better for it. It has a stiffer platform and has more torsional rigidity. Still a front wheel drive it loses a lot of the torque steer that it had at high revs. The new Honda Civic Type R has already received numerous awards and accolades, and holds the current lap record for front-wheel drive cars at the daunting Nürburgring circuit in Germany.
The new lap record of 7min 43,8 sec is more than 7 sec faster than the previous Type R’s lap time.
1. Exterior Styling
Due to it being based on the new Generation Civic platform, the new Type R comes more lower and wider than the previous model. The Type R has a raft of aero dynamic enhancements that lend itself to a better performance. In the front is a front splitter, with two large sculpted air intakes with mesh inserts & vertically stacked ducts on the side. This creates downforce, coupled with the prominent rear wing as well. The wide rear bumper hosts a full-width carbon fibre-look diffuser, again in the interests of keener aerodynamics, while the centrally located triple-exhaust tailpipe array is another head-turning feature. The bumper features directional strakes on either side.
In the front as well are LED headlights with integrated daytime running lights. The 20 inch black alloys contribute to the great handling on the track, and they have a red styling line in the rims that look great. It has a sharks antenna as standard equipment.
2. Interior design.
Inside the cabin is a sporty look with red accents , carbon fibre black finishes, sporty racing seats, a multi function steering wheel and a aluminium gear lever knob. Alloy pedals , with red suede fabric front seats and black rear seats complete the sporty look.
A comprehensive instrument panel is situated s located in front of the driver, & features a 7 inch LCD interfaceincorporating virtual instruments,as well as selectable info display giving stats on lap times, gear shift indicator( handy on the track at speed)G-force meter etc.
The information screens can be scrolled through and selected using a thumb pad on the multifunction steering wheel. The steering wheel also incorporates controls for the Bluetooth-based hands-free telephony system, cruise control, and the audio system.
The top of the centre console is home to a full-colour touch-screen display which offers intuitive access to the eight-speaker audio system, integrated satellite navigation, and the dual-zone climate control system. It also acts as a display for the integrated reverse camera, and features full Apple CarPlay compatibility.
The centre stack also offers a two-tiered storage area and access to the entertainment system’s USB and HDMI ports. It has a fairly large boot space at 414 L, that can be enhanced by fold down options 60/40 to a larger 780 L. Included are a electric parking brake and heated electric mirrors.
3. Drivetrain – engine.
The engine and transmission you would imagine in a performance model like the Type R would be important. It has a high reviing 2.0 L four-cylinder engine mated with a six -speed manual transmission that puts out an impressive 228 kW at 6 500 r/min, coupled to a torque peak of 400 Nm, maintained between 2 500 and 4 500 r/min. The performance is really thrilling, and experienced at the difficult and technical Dezzi race track near Port Shepstone, with its tight and blind corners, it gave an impressive account of itself.
A new suspension helps the handling and previous problem with torque steer to the front end. That suspension comprises an advanced, dual-axis front set-up specifically designed to address torque steer while enhancing turn-in and steering feel, despite the Type R’s front-wheel drive configuration and considerable power potential.
Also new is the dual-pinion, variable-ratio power steering system, derived from the standard Civic Hatchback, but adapted specifically for its Type R application to ensure direct, confidence-inspiring steering feedback.
The rear suspension comprises a completely new multi-link design that benefits both overall refinement and unflustered stability at high speeds. The Honda rockets from rest to 100 km/h in a mere 5,8 seconds, and achieves a top speed of 272 km/h. It comes in three drive modes, with Sport & the R modes for the speed kings, but Comfort is a mode that will enable every day driving as well.
Another feature unique to the Type R in the Civic range is the helical limited-slip differential which greatly enhances traction during cornering, even at high speeds. In addition, the Type R features a drive-by-wire throttle , which ensures more rapid (and more accurate) throttle actuation while further saving weight.
The Type R offers an impressive array of active and passive safety features. The uprated braking system is equipped with ABS anti-lock control, including electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assist (EBA). Hill Start Assist (HSA) and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) are also standard, the latter incorporating Agile Handling Assist (AHA).
Also on the list are tyre pressure monitoring, auto-activating LED headlights with integrated LED day-time running lights, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, LED fog lamps, an integrated high-mounted third brake light, and parking sensors.
A key passive safety feature is the Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body shell, which ensures progressive deformation and passenger safety cell integrity in the case of a collision. Successful in-house crash testing included side impact testing up to 62 km/h and rear crash testing up to 80 km/h.
ACE operates in conjunction with no less than six SRS airbags (front, side and curtain airbags), as well as a front seatbelt pre-tensioning system, inertia reel seatbelts front and rear and ISOFix child seat anchors.
The array of standard security features includes remote central locking with keyless entry and walk-away door locking, speed-sensitive auto door locking, and selective unlocking. An engine immobiliser and integrated alarm system are also provided, as is rear privacy glass.
5. Warranty and service.
The retail price of R627 900 includes a comprehensive five-year/200 000 km warranty, as well as a five-year/90 000 km service plan and a three-year AA Roadside Assistance plan. Scheduled services are at 10 000 km intervals.
In summary the Type R was a huge improvement on its predecessor, the car is now infinitely driveable as a performance car as well as an every day car. It offers more safety and comfort, as well as handles far better on track and the performance is way better as well.