Honda’s 306bhp hot hatch sprints from 0-62mph in a claimed 5.7sec and will be exported to Japan; on sale in the UK now, priced from £29,995

The new Honda Civic Type R will be exported to Japan from the UK, arriving in showrooms there from autumn this year.

Takahiro Hachigo announced the news, which follows a new £200 million investment in the Swindon plant, in his first speech as Honda Motor Company CEO.

The first Type R rolled off the production line in the UK last week. The plant, with a 3000-strong workforce, is the global production hub for the new Civic five-door hatchback.

Philip Ross, senior vice president for Honda Motor Europe, said: “Customers are really excited about this car and we’re developing a significant order bank here in Europe.

“Exporting the car to Japan will only serve to increase demand further, which is great news.”

We put the 306bhp Honda Civic Type R through its paces on the road and track

The Honda Civic Type R is sold out in the UK until February. In total, UK dealers have placed orders for more than 800 cars, prompting Honda UK boss Philip Crossman to declare that "the car has already exceeded all our expectations".

The Type R is the fastest and most powerful front-wheel-drive hot hatch in existence. It made its debut at the Geneva motor show and is priced from £29,995. At its heart is an all-new 306bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre engine that enables it to cover the 0-62mph sprint in 5.7sec and hit a 167mph top speed.

"We knew it was a car with a following, but the interest it has generated inside and outside of the company has been phenomenal," said Crossman. "It has dominated our thinking for the past few months, and it's already playing a key role in building interest in our brand and telling the world that Honda is back where it belongs."

The Type R features a special ‘Dual Axis Strut’ front suspension system and a mechanical limited-slip differential. An extensive aerodynamic package completes the Civic Type R’s extreme track-bred positioning.

The most dominant feature in the Civic Type R is its new VTEC engine. The direct-injection turbocharged unit’s 306bhp arrives at 6500rpm and peak torque of 295lb ft is at 2500rpm. The engine hits the redline at 7000rpm.

The 2.0-litre engine drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox. There is no automatic option. The 0-62mph time and top speed are both class-leading.

Honda says the Civic Type R has been fitted with “a number of innovative new suspension systems” that are designed to “maximise power transfer to the road”.

Chief among them is that Dual Axis Strut front suspension system, which is similar to Ford’s RevoKnuckle system. It’s a version of a MacPherson strut front suspension set-up that features an additional steering knuckle, so the wheel steers around a point closer to its centre line, in turn reducing torque steer by up to 50% compared with a standard Civic, according to Honda.

The rear suspension is an H-shaped torsion beam design, but it has been modified over the standard Civic’s to include a new ‘crushed pipe’, which, Honda says, improves roll rigidity by 180% and enhances high-speed corner stability. Adaptive dampers also feature at each corner and the electric steering has been retuned for greater response and feel.

To access the full potential of the chassis and powertrain, Honda has equipped the Civic Type R with a ‘+R’ driving mode. This increases engine response, provides more aggressive torque mapping, reduces the assistance on the steering and firms up the dampers by 30%.

Stopping power is provided by bespoke high-performance Brembo brakes, which feature four-piston calipers and drilled discs that measure 350mm in diameter at the front. The brakes sit behind 19in wheels shod with 235/35 tyres made of a bespoke compound.

Chassis tuning for the Civic Type R has taken place at the Nürburgring and Suzuka circuits, as well as at Honda’s own Takasu test track in Japan. Honda has already set a new lap record for front-wheel-drive production cars at the Nürburgring, eclipsing the Renault Mégane RS 275 Trophy-R’s 7min 54sec lap time by four seconds.

Extensive aerodynamic work has taken place in the wind tunnel at Honda’s dedicated motorsport facility in Sakura, Japan, where it develops its Formula 1 engines.

The result is exterior styling that has been heavily influenced by aerodynamic demands. Most striking is the large fixed rear wing, which has been redesigned from that of the Civic Type R concept car seen at the Geneva and Paris motor shows of 2014. Its height, shape, angle and end plates have all been modified to provide enough downforce without compromising drag at higher speeds.

Also notable at the rear is the large diffuser, which works with the flat underside to ‘suck’ the car to the road. There are four exhaust tips, two on each side of the car, and a more aggressive-looking rear bumper design.

Other new design features compared with the standard Civic on which the Type R is based include a new front bumper that has been shaped to reduce turbulence around the front wheels, a wide front splitter, flared wheel arches, which at the front allow air in as extra cooling for the engine, and larger front grilles, also for increased cooling. Further outlet vents for the engine feature on top of the front wings.

There are five exterior colour choices offered on the Civic Type R, including the Championship White colour seen here and shared with other Type R models.

The sporty interior features sports seats trimmed in a suede-effect fabric, a gearknob machined from an aluminium alloy, black headlining and black trim with red double stitching.

Though entry-level models will be priced at £29,995, higher-specification GT versions - which get a suite of safety technology as well as automatic lights and wipers, dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors and Honda's Connect infotainment system - are priced at £32,295.

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Our Verdict

Honda Civic Type-R
Honda's new Civic Type R is powered by a 306bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder engine

Probably the most capable front-wheel-drive car in production today, with only limited edition specials getting close

Join the debate

Comments
42

28 September 2014

...isn't this the same as the red car, only blue? What's new about it?

29 September 2014

its got stickers simonali. plus its a rendering not even a real car. its still awful, but less awful than the regular civic. do Honda even have a dual clutch automated manual? it sounds like an excuse to me... that they didnt have the budget to develop a new gearbox so they made up some guff about proper driver involvement. because of course ferrari and porsche and mclaren dont do dual clutch automated manuals because they dont give the driver proper involvement. where is the rolls eyes icon!

29 September 2014

the Fit Hybrid in Japan has a dual clutch transmission. It is actually quite interesting, because the E-motor is integrated into the DCT and can be in a different gear than the engine while running at the same time. I think a much lighter manual transmission works better in a hot hatch, though.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKfabuubtsg

Another concept... reminds me of the NSX. 4-piston calipers on the rear seem very unlikely. Still not sure if the final car will look more like this, or like the (rather ugly) test mules.

29 September 2014

thanks for that riemens. I did some digging around... Honda actually have done 3 recalls on that gearbox since 2013. paultan.org/2014/02/11/honda-dct-recall/. They are bringing out "wet" 8 speed dual clutch gear boxes with their new turbo v tec engines. Seems like "dry" dct's are a hard technology to get right should be avoided. VW have loads of complaints about their dry 7 speeders on the net.... I havent read anything about their wet 6 speed dcts so would presume they are reliable. Honda is so far behind the curve. Its always bad news for a car company when the accountants are allowed to take over. Mercedes is only now getting the balance right after 10 years! i hope the new civic type r will also signal a return to form for Honda.

11 February 2015

I find the current Civic quite attractive. Guess that just shows how subjective appearances are. I wish they would make another Integra, a svelte and exciting coupe might just revive Hondas image.

29 September 2014

How many times have we seen this car now - and how many times have we heard promises from Honda about how good and how fast it will be? One thing's for certain: by the time this Type-R makes it into production, the current Civic will be virtually obsolete, if it isn't already. Anyone seen any images of the 2016 Civic, and will there be a Type-R version of it, perhaps in 2020? Honda needs to stop dreaming and start building something that people can actually buy.

29 September 2014

I hope Honda has enough success with this that they think its worth doing another Type-R in the future, but the current Civic is such a poor place to start. Honda would have done better to get the next Civic to the showrooms sooner. It cant come soon enough.

29 September 2014

Totally agreed! Despite owning Honda Concerto, and Honda breadvan Civics in the past and being totally satisfied with them, I didn't even bother to test drive the current shape Civic before getting a Golf. It looks just so awful. Plus the emissions are high meaning over a 5 year ownership period I would have had to pay nigh on £500.00 more road tax over an equivalently engined Golf. Plus they went with a solid rear axle. Plus did I mention it looks awful? I would be embarrassed to own a car that looks that bad, even if it did 100mpg, had CO2 emissions of 75g/km and had 200hp, and an independent rear suspension setup.

I'm not even that conservative. I've liked all the Bangle BMW's and like the new Lexus NX. These are challenging designs based on coherent ideas. The current Civic is just random form making based on disparate ideas that don't gel together. It looks confused. If it were an animal, it would have been put out of its misery years ago.

29 September 2014

Instead of farting about with this Type R, however good it may turn out to be, Honda need to get on with developing an all new Civic, without the questionable styling, that people might actually want to buy.

 

I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

MrJ

29 September 2014

Completely agree - to replace the sleek last-model Civic with the present model makes you wonder whether the designers at Honda smoke weird stuff in the office.

Wasting money with dross like this takes their sights away from where they should be - a good looker next time round.

Honda does have form in this of course - the poor old Prelude ended its days as a dull looking fridge on wheels.

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