What is it?
Do you have a problem with the way the Civic Type R looks?
The big casualty is the high-level rear wing – that see-it-a-mile-away identifier of Type R-ness. It has been replaced by something subtler, even if, should you inspect the undersides at its extremities, the new part still features vortex-generating fins.
The wheels are downsized, too, from 20in on the Type R GT to 19in, although space remains for the full-fat car’s 350mm MMC brake discs. Those wheels wear what’s now the third different tyre Honda has fitted to its Ford Focus ST rival, after using Continental Sport Contact 6 rubber on the original and semi-slick Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s for the hardcore Limited Edition launched last year. It’s Michelin’s Pilot Sport 4 S rubber that has been called up for duty this time – in our experience, just about the best road-focused tyre around, with soft sidewalls yet also plenty of precision and support.
Finally, the red exterior pinstriping of the regular Type R has disappeared, as has the red cloth of the otherwise unchanged bucket seats, and some of the ordinary Civic’s soundproofing, removed from the regular Type R to save weight, has been put back in.
That said, the Sport Line’s kerb weight is the same as before, at 1380kg – a class-leading figure.