The principal gains delivered for this Type R by Honda’s new Global Compact platform, says the company, are to do with lowering the car’s centre of gravity and stiffening its superstructure – neither of which Honda provides specific comparative data for.
But the new car’s wider axle tracks do show up when you compare the new car with the old one on the specification sheet.
This Type R has 65mm of extra rear track width than its immediate forebear, and although its front track appears to have decreased by 6mm, that’s not accounting for the 20in wheels and 245-section tyres fitted to the new car, which make the overall front axle tread (measured from the outer edge of the wheel rather than the middle) significantly wider than on the old car.
A tiny bit of weight has been saved, albeit only 2kg overall; but let’s not forget that this Civic is more than 15cm longer than the car it replaces.
The blank-sheet-of-paper start enabled a more thorough suspension overhaul for this car than the last Type R had. The front wheels are controlled by ‘dual-axis’ MacPherson struts that get derivative-specific aluminium lower arms and knuckles. At the rear, the big change is the move away from a torsion beam in favour of a multi-link configuration, with all the benefits to body control and ride tuning that should bring.
In a similar vein to the front, the Type R gets lighter, stronger rear lateral and trailing arms than the 10th-generation common-or-garden Civic, as well as stiffened, lowered suspension rates.
Above all of that, there’s an new four-corner adaptive damping system with a broader spread of configurability on ride control. And so, unlike before, this Type R has a Comfort driving mode, but it also has even stiffer damper settings than its immediate forebear for its default Sport and track-intended +R modes.
The car’s 2.0-litre single-scroll turbocharged engine is mostly as it was, but for a freer-flowing exhaust that has allowed Honda to turn up the boost enough to produce an extra 10bhp without risking cooling problems or irregular combustion.
In addition, Honda has shortened the final drive ratio of the six-speed manual transmission by seven percent for quicker and more responsive acceleration and it has fitted a new single-mass flywheel that reduces clutch inertia by 25 percent.