The extreme focus of the current Civic Type R has been toned down in an effort to attract a wider audience; the GT version commands a £2000 premium

The 2017 Honda Civic Type R will cost from £30,995 when it hits Honda forecourts this July. 

The current front-drive Nurburgring lap record holder is also announced to cost from £299 a month on a three-year, 5.9% PCP deal. The GT version will cost £32,995 outright, and comes with a host of extras, including an upgraded sound system, LED front fog lights and Honda’s Connect system with sat-nav.

We've driven the new Honda Civic Type R - read the review here

PCP pricing for the GT will be confirmed upon launch, but Honda expects the sales split between Type R and Type R GT to be heavily in favour of the GT - 75% of Civic Type Rs bought in the UK will be GT-badged. The higher-spec model gets improved equipment over the standard car including blind Spot Information, dual-zone climate control, LED front fog lights, an improved stereo system and Garmin sat-nav.

Honda confirmed that pre-orders were received before the car was available to order, but didn't go so far as to reveal how many. Honda did say, however, that US customers will most likely get their hands on new Civic Type Rs first, as it's a larger market than the UK. It'll be the first time a Honda Type R car has been officially marketed in the US. First delivery dates are yet to be confirmed.

2017 Honda Civic Type R revealed

The new Honda Civic Type R hot hatch will strike the perfect balance between performance and comfort, according to project boss Hideki Kakinuma.

Talking about the all-new, tenth-generation Civic-based hot hatch, Kakinuma said: “We are trying to balance two aspects. Some rivals focus on extreme performance and others are going in the comfort direction. We want to go right in the middle.”

The current Type R has been criticised for being too performance-focused, so this move is an acknowledgement that a more middle-of-the-road approach is needed in order to attract a broader audience, not least in the US, where the Type R will be sold for the first time.

Despite this intention, Kakinuma also confirmed that the new Type R will make an attempt on the Nürburgring Nordschleife front-wheel-drive lap record this spring.

A pre-production version of the previous-generation model held the Nürburgring record of 7min 49.21sec until last May, when Volkswagen’s Golf GTI Clubsport S recorded a lap time 1.4sec faster. Honda subsequently responded by setting new front-wheel-drive lap records at five European racing circuits.

2017 Honda Civic Type R specs

The new Civic Type R features a revised version of the turbocharged 2.0-litre VTEC petrol engine used by the outgoing model. The flow rate of the exhaust gases has been increased and the ECU’s mapping has been updated which, Honda claims, improves throttle response and driveability at peak. Torque remains the same, with 295lb ft from 2500rpm to 4500rpm, but peak power is up by 10bhp to 316bhp at 6500rpm.

Despite the upped power, Honda claims improved fuel economy for the new model, of 36.7mpg with 176g/km CO2; that's 20% more fuel efficient than before, but a 6g/km rise in CO2 emissions. 

Kakinuma said the car’s kerb weight is “just about the same” as the existing Type R’s 1382kg. The new model’s 0-62mph time also matches the current car’s time of 5.7secs, while the car's top speed stands at 169mph. 

The Type R also retains the six-speed manual gearbox of the current car. Kakinuma said: “We want to offer customers the joy of shifting for themselves.” It also introduces a new rev-match control system which promises to give smoother gearshifts and negates heel-and-toe driving.

The outgoing Type R required the standard Civic’s platform to be significantly re-engineered, so the model launched a long time after the regular hatchback. However, for this generation, the Civic platform was designed for the Type R from the beginning.

The new model is longer, lower and wider than before, with a centre of gravity that is 34mm lower and a 50mm lower driver’s hip point, while further use of adhesive in the standard Civic bodyshell has increased torsional rigidity by 39% compared with the previous Type R, Honda claims.

The MacPherson strut suspension of the standard model has also been revised, with new geometry intended to minimise torque steer and improve handling. It also uses the same multi-link rear axle as the regular Civic but adds high-rigidity suspension arms. There's also a set of adaptive dampers improved for the new model, with three-chamber designed shock absorbers to add to the car's more comfortable approach than its predecessor.

Aerodynamics are also improved thanks to a smoother underbody, a front air curtain, a lightweight rear wing and vortex generators along the roofline. Honda claims the result is a best-in-class balance between lift and drag, with a 3% improvement in drag coefficient. Honda claims that the car's frame is 37% stiffer and 16kg lighter than before, too. 

In a bid to offer a more comfortable ride than before, the Type R will have three driving modes: Comfort, default Sport and, for the track, R. Kakinuma described the Comfort mode as being “in line with the standard model”, while R is “a bit harder” than before. “We’ve extended the spectrum of the modes,” he added. “The previous Type R was only sold in the EU and Japan. In order to appeal to a broader range of customers, such as the US, we added the Comfort mode.”

Despite targeting American buyers, growing in size and developing some new refined character facets, the new Honda Civic Type R hasn’t gone soft, according to Honda’s UK-based New Model Centre Division Manager Phil Haydon, who has been closely involved with productionising the new car at Honda’s Swindon factory, and has been driving a prototype version for extended periods of the last year.

“The new ‘comfort’ driving mode certainly makes the ride more civil, and we’ve made significant improvements to refinement in the car,” confirms Haydon, “but in ‘R+’ mode I’d say the new car’s even firmer-riding and more exciting than before.” 

“We have a more rigid body, wider axle tracks, wider tyres and a lower centre of gravity in play. While the last Type R probably made a bigger impact because of the increase in power and the switch to turbocharging, this one is probably the greater engineering achievement,” he went on. “It’s still our idea of the ultimate front-wheel drive hot hatchback, despite the added breadth of ability.” The tyres are specially-developed 245/30 R20 Continental pieces. 

The car's brakes are larger than before; 350mm for the drilled front discs and 305mm for the solid rear discs represent growth of 9mm over the car's predecessor. 

Kakinuma also said work had been done to improve the exhaust note. “A key weakness [on the former model] was a booming sound,” he said. “ We’ve paid attention to that aspect and improved it, especially at low and mid-speed range. We tuned the sound and it’s all natural.” In the car's intriguing three-pipe exhaust setup, the two outer pipes handle exhaust flow, while the centre pipe is in control of the engine note. 

Honda Civic Type R project boss Hideki Kakinuma on the all-new hot hatch

Honda Civic Type R: will it be good to drive?

Stay up to date with the latest from the Geneva motor show here

Geneva motor show - the 14 cars you must see

Our Verdict

Honda Civic

Honda’s 10th-generation Civic hatchback goes global — but is that good news?

Join the debate

Comments
19

7 March 2017
The Ugliest car Honda have ever produced, I am sure the engineering is excellet but couldnt they have employed a decent design team- YUK!

26 March 2017
What were they thinking?!,i guess it's meant to be a Triumph of Aerodynamics over mechanical!?,but if your a lover of Subaru's and Mitsubishi Evo's you'll love this wing fest of a Car.

Peter Cavellini.

7 March 2017
It will no doubt be mental to drive, but what a dogs dinner! It is not exactly a great base to start from, but it they have made it even worse

7 March 2017
One advantage of owning one is that when you are driving it you don't have to look at the outside. Other than the DC3/9 i don't think Honda have really done any Type-R that looked 'nice' but having owned three Type-Rs I'm sure it will be great to drive. I have a company Golf R which ticks lots of boxes but, as good as it is, ticking boxes is a bit dull and no matter which way you look at it, its still 'just a Golf' sensible to Honda's mental. I remember in the early 2000s the EP3 started a renaissance in very hot hatchbacks (which has probably gone a bit too far now) dash mounted gear stick, peaky VTEC engine. One of the best cars i ever owned so ill always have a soft spot for type-Rs. that one was known as the breadvan its sort of comforting to see they are still chucking out type-Rs with the same mentalist driving DNA and pig ugly looks. long live the type-R

7 March 2017
Truly truly terrible. The one and only redeeming quality being the manual box. But even that is cocked up by the 'rev match control system'. Why is negating the need for heal-and-toe driving a good thing? Surely that is one of the joys of driving? Can you imagine Steinway boasting about a new system that negates the need to use the peddles on a grand? Very bad.

8 March 2017
one of the funniest comments I've ever seen on an internet. Man, seriously !? and then... the apples to pianos comparison at the end. cherry on the cake. hehe

8 March 2017
With Honda's latest talentless power plant engineeing department, it'll take 2 or 3 engine changes just to get it to the end of the street.

8 May 2017
It seems like there's yet another new one to hurt the eyes every couple of weeks now.

8 May 2017
What is Honda thinking? Toned down! Somebody got carried away. It looks sensationally raucous! Did they check out the European rivals for the Type R?

8 May 2017
I think that Honda's F1 engine design team and the road car styling team have offices next door to each other and someone has swapped the signs on the doors as a joke. Unfortunately no-one at Honda has noticed yet!!

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Skoda Citigo
    This is the facelifted Skoda Citigo
    First Drive
    28 June 2017
    The facelifted Citigo gets a new infotainment system, but Skoda has wisely resisted the urge to make sweeping changes
  • Volvo XC60
    Car review
    28 June 2017
    Volvo aims its reinvigorated crosshairs at the medium-sized SUV ranks
  • First Drive
    27 June 2017
    Ford says the all-new Fiesta has extra polish and more space. We drove the ST-Line X 5-door 1.0T Ecoboost to find out how it shapes up
  • Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer Design Nav 1.5 Turbo Ecotec 140 2017 review
    First Drive
    23 June 2017
    Low-rung estate model offers great value for money, albeit with little shine or excitement
  • Audi SQ5
    Car review
    23 June 2017
    New performance SUV has it all to do in a class of talented rivals. Is it up to the task?