This one's a saloon with 222bhp; UK to get imports
4 April 2007

Honda has unveiled a new Japan-only Civic Type R that differs significantly from the three-door version on sale in the UK. And if you fancy being a bit different, importer Litchfield has announced that it will be bringing the car to the UK later this year.The Japanese Type R uses the same four-door body as the hybrid Civic IMA (saloons are more popular in Japan and Asia than hatches). It’s lighter (1270kg versus 1338kg) and has more power than the UK car. Thanks to different emissions tuning, the Japanese version’s 2.0-litre engine pumps out 222bhp at 8000rpm, well up on the UK’s 198bhp at 7800rpm. It has more torque, too: 158lb ft at 6100rpm, versus 142lb ft at 5600rpm. The Japanese car succeeds the last Integra Type R – also a Japan-only model, though familiar to Brits as the Team Halfords BTCC team car. The hot Civic uses a new version of the Integra’s K20A 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine, with a higher compression ratio, improved breathing and drive-by-wire throttle. Body rigidity has been improved by 50 per cent over the Integra’s, and performance-tuned suspension with unique spring and damper rates, combined with a limited-slip diff and thicker anti-roll bars, should improve cornering speeds and traction.The Civic rolls on special lightweight 18-inch alloys, uses Brembo four-pot front brake calipers and has a close-ratio six-speed transmission. While the exterior receives an aerodynamic styling kit, the cabin gets sports seats and a rev limiter warning light. Honda hopes to sell just 400 units a month in Japan, where it will go on sale for around £12,000. Imports from Litchifeld are inevitably slightly pricier, at £22,995, or £23,995 with UK sat-nav, DVD player, iPod control and Bluetooth phone kit. The three-door UK car starts at £17,600.

Our Verdict

Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is an impressive achievement and a worthy rival to the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, but it isn't quite up to class-leading standards

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