What is it?
The Honda Civic Type R, in this its glowering, jutting and angrily blistered fifth-generation form, has landed. Faster, stronger, more powerful and more advanced than any of its forebears, the British-built hot Honda Civic has now begun rolling off its Swindon production line in serious numbers. But has its big moment finally come?
This is the first Type R in more than a decade to move back to all-independent suspension; the first to be developed as a performance machine from the ground up rather than adapted from an existing platform. This Type R broke the lap record for a front-wheel-drive production vehicle at the Nordschleife earlier this year. And this is the first review you’ll read anywhere on an absolutely final, series-production-specification, right-hand-drive example.
Like all Type Rs to date, the fifth-generation Civic is front-wheel drive and sticks with a traditional six-speed manual gearbox for what Honda considers the purest, simplest and potentially most dynamically compelling hot hatch driving experience possible. Compared with the forth-generation model introduced only two years ago, it has a stiffer and lighter body and entirely new suspension and steering systems. A relatively understated powertrain overhaul makes for a 10bhp power boost, while torque remains unchanged.