words and photos by: Jimmy Mak
Pros: Amazing price point, Grips like no tomorrow, Comfortable for everyday
Cons: Still No volume knob, not enough bark for the bite
The Civic Type-R is the most heavily anticipated vehicle from Honda in a very long time. Since killing the s2000, some 8 years ago there was a lack of a true sports car from the lineup. But now for 2017, we can finally have the long-awaited Civic Type-R. No longer an exclusive UK or Japan model the new R is based on the Civic hatch and starting from a good platform its the only way to start this fantastic machine. But let’s break it down and see what makes us oogle all over this masterpiece.
Wider, and more aggressive than any other Civic the R wears exclusive sheet metal that pushes all four corners out. For some, it may be too aggressive, but in black it actually hides a lot of those angle and creases giving the R a slightly more subtle look.
And it’s just slightly, with a massive wing out back it’s not hiding much. But this wing is not only there for looks, but it’s fully functional as well as it’s high enough to not ruin the field of view.
A point of controversy are these wheels, these massive 20″ alloys and rubber band tires it’s more ricer than racer. However, with the title record at Nürburgring, there’s no reason to doubt the possibilities of this machine. Also notice the aero pieces, the front splitter channels air and up and around the front wheels where it meets an exchange port behind the front wheels reducing engine temps.
Inside the Type-R is similar to other Civics within the range. But what stands out is the extensive use of red highlights, from the trim around the vents to the steering wheel it actually makes the interior a bit more special. The rest of is basically the same, from HVAC controls to radio and even the absence of the volume button. But unlike past Type-Rs it’s fully featured with navigation, satellite radio, dual zone climate control and even Qi wireless charging for phones.
One of the best parts inside are these beautiful seats, not only are they supportive, but they hug you nice and tight. But unlike true racing buckets it still reclines and with angled bottom bolster it’s actually relatively easy to get in and out.
Sadly for the rear passengers, they’re no rear buckets but rather a single bench with a centre seat delete. Also, note the red seat belts, no longer would you have to get a Porsche to get those.
Alright, let’s get into something we’re excited about, the way it drives. The Type-R is something different, it truly connects the road, car, and driver. Unlike a lot of vehicles these days, the R actually has feedback. And as a driver, nothing is better than being one with the road.
Turn in is sharp and concise. The variable rack is quick to respond when needed and in +R mode can be weighted up to let the driver know of every bump on the road. In Comfort mode, the steering lightens up and the suspension loosens its reins to give the passengers a ride that’s relatively pleasant. But let’s be honest this car is made to run in +R mode more than anything. Even with the stiffest mode, the ride is not harsh, the dampers soak up most of the bumps at speed while low-speed bumps do translate into bigger body movements than liked.
The front suspension is completely unique, similar to the Revo knuckle found first in Ford’s previous generation RS the Dual-axis front strut allows the car to accelerate with zero torque steer. However, over imperfections on the road, the vehicle can dart to the side with grip but it’s nothing m.
Powering this special vehicle is Honda’s well-known K -series motor. The K20C1 is extraordinary with 306 hp at 6500rpm and 295lb-ft between 2500 and 4500rpm and a 7000rpm redline it shows the world that there’s no need for a screaming redline when you have gobs of torque down low. Using this engine’s power is very different than Hondas of the past. There’s no need to rev it out or even shifting to a lower gear. Just apply throttle wait a sec for the boost to build and this hatch flies.
Shifting this 6-speed manual is slick, changes are smooth and engaging with each shift it brings an endless smile to the driver. Connecting to the 6-speed is a helical limited-slip diff allowing all of the car’s power to both front wheels. With only 3117lbs it’s not much to pull around so highway speeds do come quickly. And when downshifting Honda engineers incorporated a rev match system to allow even the newest of drivers to look experienced. But for those who dislike electronics, the system can be shut off via the touchscreen.
With all this power, one might think it’ll sound amazing with some pop and bangs. However, this is not the case, unlike the Focus RS or STI this dog does not bark. Sounding wimpy and quiet it’s very suited for the streets, however, enthusiasts in search of a musical treat will look at aftermarket options as soon as possible.
Let’s be honest, the hype is completely justifiable. The R is fast, agile and it undercuts the competitors by thousands of dollars. Priced at $40,890 this an amazing bargain. The only downfall is if you’re able to live with the slightly more aggressive body treatment that’s more suited for younger buyers than the average mature owner. Best part all of the power and it’s still able to average 10L/100km in the city(not that you will care).
Big thanks to Honda Canada for supplying the vehicle, it was a sad moment to return this astonishing piece of engineering masterpiece.