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Honda Civic Type R

New Honda Civic Type R revealed in Geneva

Honda Civic Type RHonda’s latest version of the Civic hot hatch: now into its fifth iteration. Although the previous-generation car seems to have only just been released, Honda’s made a big effort to have a quick version of the latest Civic available early. Most importantly, this new Type R is set to be exported from Honda’s UK factory across the globe, including to the USA for the first time. Previously the North American market had been denied the ultimate Civic.

The specHonda Civic Type R

Powering the front wheels is a revised version of the 2.0-litre VTEC turbo engine from the last Type R. Power has been increased by 10hp to 320hp, whilst torque has remained the same at 295lb ft. A six-speed manual gearbox is the only transmission on offer, but it does have the ability to match revs for you.

How fast is it?Honda Civic Type R

There are no official figures yet, but safe to say it will be quicker than the outgoing car. That means 0-62mph in less than 5.7 seconds, and the potential for a top speed even higher than 167mph. There will be a new Nürburgring lap time set, too.

The techHonda Civic Type R

The technology that really makes a difference on the new Civic Type R relates to its crazy and complex aerodynamic styling. Honda claims the new car has class-leading balance, lift and drag, helping with high speed stability. This includes the dramatic rear wing, vortex generators built into the roofline, plus a race-car-like smooth underbody.

The interiorHonda Civic Type R

Dark and brooding is the interior theme Honda has gone for, with a set of bright red sports seats illuminating the gloom. There are also dashes of carbon fibre trim and a lightweight aluminium gear knob for good measure. Drivers get a choice of driving modes, with Comfort, Sport, or intense ‘R+’ mode on offer.

How much?Honda Civic Type R

No prices have been announced yet, but the new Type R is expected to cost slightly more than the £30,000 price of the outgoing model in the UK. We expect global pricing will also be competitive.

The rivalsHonda Civic Type R

The hot hatch market is ultra-competitive at present, and the new Type R will face a range of opponents. The Volkswagen Golf R and Ford Focus RS will be two of the toughest challengers, along with a recently revised Seat Leon Cupra 300 and a Renaultsport version of the new Megane.

On-sale dateHonda Civic Type R

Production of the new Civic Type R is set to start in the summer of 2017, at Honda’s UK factory in Swindon. Exact dates to start harassing your local dealership about placing an order will be confirmed soon, along with prices.

The buzzHonda Civic Type R

The latest Type R is already generating a bigger buzz than the three exhaust tailpipes it has fitted. By taking the already crazy outgoing car, adding more power and revising the aerodynamics, this Type R will set internet message boards alight.

First look: our verdictHonda Civic Type R

We were a little unsure about the styling of the latest Civic hatchback, with its propensity for multiple angles. The Type R takes this approach and multiplies it, but it makes more sense on an aggressive hot hatch. If Honda can keep the pricing competitive, it will undoubtedly find success.

Revealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Revealed: the world’s best selling cars of 2016

Revealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016What were the world’s best-selling cars of 2016? Thanks to Focus2Move, we have the answers, as we reveal the most popular cars across the globe.

The F2M Global Mobility Database tracks over 3,500 vehicles sold in more than 1,500 countries, and includes light commercial vehicles. Here are the cars that made the top 10, presented in reverse order.

10. Toyota CamryRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 660,868

Toyota unveiled a new 2018 Camry at the Detroit Auto Show, and on this showing it can’t come soon enough. The Camry slides from 6th to 10th, with registrations down 11.5%.

9. Honda CivicRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 668,707

Compare and contrast with the admittedly smaller Honda Civic, which has seen an 18.7% increase in registrations, jumping from 17th to 9th in the process. We’ve driven the new Civic and are pleased to report it’s rather good.

8. Volkswagen PoloRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 704,062

There’s a new Volkswagen Polo on the way. In the meantime, registrations of the existing model are holding steady at just over 700,000 units.

7. Toyota RAV4Revealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 724,198

The Toyota RAV4 is the one member of the top 10 that always surprises us. It’s not that it’s a bad car, it’s just that it’s not exactly memorable either. Still, 724,198 people can’t be wrong. Can they?

6. Ford FocusRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 734,935

The Ford Focus recorded the biggest drop in the top 10, with registrations down 11.7% compared to the same period in 2015.

5. Honda CR-VRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 752,463

No such problems for the Honda CR-V, which sees a 5.7% increase compared to 2015, breaking into the top five in the process.

4. Hyundai ElantraRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 788,081

The Hyundai Elantra climbs one place, with registrations up 3.9%.

3. Volkswagen GolfRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 991,414

Meanwhile, the Volkswagen drops from second to third. A sign that people are waiting for the new Mk7.5 Golf? We’re driving the new Golf this week, so stay tuned for our initial thoughts.

2. Ford F-SeriesRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 993,779

For a vehicle that is sold predominantly in North America, this is quite a remarkable result. The Ford F-Series remains the best-loved pick-up and the second best-selling car in the world.

1. Toyota CorollaRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 1,316,383

Which leaves the Toyota Corolla to cement its crown as the world’s most popular car. Registrations are down 3.6%, but Toyota is still able to shift 1.3 million units.

Figures courtesy of the F2M Global Mobility Database.

2017 Honda Civic review: Type R attitude for Volkswagen Golf money

2017 Honda Civic review: Type R attitude for Volkswagen Golf money

The 2017 Honda Civic is entirely new – and all the better for it. But should you buy one over a Volkswagen Golf or Vauxhall Astra?

This Black Edition is your last chance to buy the latest Civic Type R

This Black Edition is your last chance to buy the latest Civic Type R

This Black Edition is your last chance to buy the latest Civic Type R

The latest Honda Civic Type R was revealed less than two years ago at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show – but production has now ended, ready for its successor to hit showrooms later this year.

Around 2,500 Type R fans have been lucky enough to buy the short-lived (and much-loved) hot hatch so far, and enthusiasts are being given one last opportunity to buy the outgoing model.

Honda has given the last 100 Civic Type Rs to roll off its Swindon production line the Black Edition treatment. These special models feature a black interior with splashes of red, while red rear wing plates on the spoiler set it apart from the standard model on the outside.

“There are only going to be 2,500 of the current Civic Type Rs on UK roads,” said Honda UK’s head of cars, Phil Webb. “The car is going to be pretty special as it is – but with the addition of this special limited run of 100 Black Editions to the product line-up, owners will have a real collector’s piece on their hands.”

This Black Edition is your last chance to buy the latest Civic Type R

The near-production-ready Civic Type R concept was a surprise appearance at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. Based on the new Civic hatch, the Type R concept featured a carbon fibre splitter, bling 20-inch alloys and triple-exit exhaust system.

Technical details are yet to be confirmed, but rumours suggest it’ll be powered by the same four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbo as its predecessor – with power turned up to as much as 340hp (compared to the 310hp currently on offer).

That power increase could necessitate a four-wheel-drive drivetrain (something the Hondahas resisted thus far), which in turn could make it an even more serious competitor to its arch-nemesis: the Ford Focus RS.

The Honda Civic Type R Black Edition models are on their way to dealers now, with prices set at the same £32,300 as the standard model.

This Black Edition is your last chance to buy the latest Civic Type R

Honda S500

Honda has now made 100 million cars

Honda S500How popular are Honda cars? Very popular: there have now been more than 100 million of them produced since the very first S500 sports car (pictured above) in 1963.

The 100 millionth Honda was made in one of Honda’s 34 car factories spread across five continents, and comes as the pace of production grows ever-higher

Banzai! Lifting the lid on Honda’s heritage collection

Honda made its 5 millionth car in 1978, and its 10 millionth in 1983. The 50 millionth model came in 2003: in just 13 years, it has thus doubled the number of Hondas produced.

A fair few of them have been built in the UK, too. Production here started in 1994 with the Accord. Today, the Swindon factory is building the new Civic hatchback for global markets.

Takahiro Hachigo, president and CEO of Honda Motor, said: “The passion of our company founder who wanted to help people in their daily lives and pursue the joy of driving has been inherited by Honda associates as the original starting point of Honda automobile manufacturing.” The landmark 100 millionth car is a glowing demonstration of their success.

Honda doesn’t want to let up, either – and is planning yet more exciting new cars in order to continue its expansion. “Striving to meet the next 100 million customers,” confirmed Hachigo, “Honda will continue delivering increasingly attractive products.”    

Question is, how long before it hits the 200 million cars mark? Who fancies placing a bet on before 2040?

What’s it like to drive?

Honda Insight review: Retro Road Test

Honda Insight: Retro Road Test

This is what environmentally-friendly motoring looked like in 1999. A car from a time before hybrids were commonplace, the Honda Insight would have looked at home on Tomorrow’s World. It boasted unheard-of fuel economy from its hybrid powertrain, along with futuristic looks. But that was kind of its downfall…

What are its rivals?

At the same time, Toyota was launching the more conventional hybrid Prius… and that’s still around today. The Prius boasted five seats, a useable boot and looked a little more normal. Car buyers liked that.

What engine does it use?

Under the bonnet you’ll find a three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine, producing 68hp, while the first-generation Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) – essentially a small electric motor located on the crankshaft – adds an extra 13hp.

What’s it like to drive?

What’s it like to drive?

Eco-friendly cars are dull to drive, right? Er, wrong. Thanks to its tall gearing, the Insight isn’t quick, hitting 62mph in 12.0 seconds and topping out at 112mph, but Retro Road Test fans will know fun isn’t all about speed in cars like these.

You sit with your bum on the floor surrounded by a weird and wonderful interior. Just the two seats and a sloping roofline (helping the 0.25Cd drag coefficient) makes it feel a bit sporty – but you are very aware of how big other cars are in traffic.

The steering, while not particularly direct, provides enough feedback to give you the confidence to carry speed through corners. The suspension, meanwhile, manages to be both wallowy and firm.

Reliability and running costs

The Insight’s crucial facts and figures are still impressive today. How about a combined 83.1mpg (although we’ve heard of owners comfortably exceeding this)? A 40-litre tank means it can cover 700 miles before needing a fill-up, too. It emits just 80g/km CO2 – less than the most eco-friendly Ford Fiesta on sale today. And it’s packed with technology to help improve efficiency: stop/start as standard, as well as a gearshift indicator and even low rolling-resistance tyres. Amazing in 1999.

Could I drive it every day?

Could I drive it every day?

The original Honda Insight would make for a great everyday hack. It’s cheaper to run than even the most economical modern cars, and it’s unlikely to leave you stranded on the side of the road. The interior, while lacking a few mod-cons, perhaps, is perfectly comfortable – although you might feel a tad vulnerable on motorways. Oh, and if you need to carry more than one passenger it’s obviously a no-go.

How much should I pay?

There weren’t many sold in the UK, so simply finding one can be difficult – we found just three currently listed in the classifieds. Pay as much as you can afford, as buying a cheap one could be a false economy. A £3,000 budget should get you a reasonable example, but spend more if you can find a really tidy one.

What should I look out for?

It’s a Honda – so it’s fair to say it’s likely to be fairly reliable. However, the earliest models will now be 17 years old, so their batteries are likely to be a little past their best if they haven’t already been replaced. Budget around £2,000 for this.

With an aluminium body, rust shouldn’t be an issue – but look out for any minor bumps and scrapes. They might not be cheap to repair.

Should I buy one?

Should I buy one?

Yes, if you can find a good one. Sure, by the time you’ve factored in maintenance costs you might be better off running a diesel Golf or similar, but this is much more fun. Whether a quirky everyday runaround or a garage queen (and probably a decent investment), the original Honda Insight ticks a lot of boxes. Just as long as you don’t need to carry more than one passenger.

Pub fact

The legendary original Honda NSX was handcrafted at the firm’s specially-built Tochigi plant, but declining sales towards the end of its life meant the Insight and S2000 were built at the same factory. Yes, this 83.1mpg hybrid was built alongside a mid-engined, Ferrari-baiting supercar.

Honda has created a 3D printed delivery van

Honda has created a 3D-printed delivery van

Honda has created a 3D printed delivery van

Ever wished your printer could create an electric van you could use for delivering dove-shaped shortbread? That’s what Honda has done. Sort of.

The 2.5-metre Micro Commuter electric van is based on a lightweight pipe-frame chassis, while the powertrain uses the same Micro EV technology as the firm’s MC-β ultra-compact electric vehicle, sold in Japan.

The clever bit, however, is the 3D printing methods used for the exterior panels and luggage space.

Based on an open innovation model, the Micro Commuter will be used by the Japanese Toshimaya Corp to carry out deliveries of its ‘Hato sablé’ dove-shaped shortbread. Erm…

The Micro Commuter was developed alongside Japanese 3D printing firm Kabuku Inc, and can travel up to 50 miles on a charge. If you’re feeling brave (remember, it’s actually made of paper), it can hit 43mph.

Oh, and that paper body helps with its kerb weight, which comes in at around 600kg. Not that you’ll want one running over your toe.

Honda Civic Type R

Honda Civic Type R Prototype revealed in Paris

Honda Civic Type RAn all-new Honda Civic Type R will go on sale in 2017 and the Japanese firm is previewing the new hot hatch with a bold Type R Prototype at the Paris Motor Show.

Finished in an eyecatching brushed aluminium-effect paint job, it further enhances the attitude of the current all-new Civic (also launching here at Paris) with more muscular bodywork and many of the radical aero features seen on the current Type R.

There’s a carbon fibre splitter at the front, complete with wings and red accents, plus more air cooling in the bumper and an air scoop on the bonnet (Subaru fans, rejoice). Smoked light lenses give menace; a red ‘H’ Honda badge depicts it as a proper Type R.

Honda Civic Type R

More carbon fibre is used to make the side skirts, which sit between 20-inch alloys: they’re so big, they wheelarches have had to be enlarged to swallow them.

Honda Civic Type R

At the rear, all eyes will be on the humungous rear wing that Honda understatedly calls ‘visually striking’. There’s also yet more carbon fibre for the rear diffuser, a central exhaust tailpipe and yet more red detailing.

Honda will reveal the new Civic Type R Prototype at the Paris show later this afternoon – but, based on what we’ve seen here, plus given how the current regular Civic emerged so similar-looking to the bold prototype that previously impressed us, put good money on a new Type R emerging in showrooms looking not dissimilar to this hot hatch star later next year…

New 2017 Honda Civic Hatch

New 2017 Honda Civic revealed: bolder, better, and British

New 2017 Honda Civic HatchHonda IS Civic. And the current Civic is, admits the firm, not good enough. Enter an all-new one for 2017: the 10th generation car, which represents the single biggest development leap for any Civic generation, ever. Honda means business, people.

Even better news for Britain, the all-new Civic hatch is a UK-built car – and the Swindon factory is the world production hub for the new five-door model. 160,000 or more will annually be built there and sent all around the world, including to North America. So the new Civic hatch is a hugely significant car. And we’ve seen it, and sat in it, and ridden in it: here’s what you need to know.

What’s the big news?

New 2017 Honda Civic Hatch

Isn’t the new 2017 Civic far prettier, sportier and stylish? Honda knew today’s upright, gawky model needed to change: the new Civic is thus lower, longer, wider, has a longer wheelbase, shorter overhangs. Visually, it’s a completely different proposition to the current model.

Honda says three keywords were tattooed onto the eyelids of everyone involved with the project: make the new Civic more distinctive, more exciting, more refined. “The last generation lost the essence of Civic,” admits global project leader Mitsuru Kariya. “It was too conservative, and our competitors got better. Civic was under pressure.” This is Honda’s response.

Civic sport

New 2017 Honda Civic Hatch

Some previous Civics were sportier than others: Honda wants this one to be the sportiest-looking yet, to move it on from the current car. Taking some of the boldness of today’s Civic Type R, the new model looks the business even in mainstream grades. You’ll spot it coming from a distance: all models feature hockey stick-shaped LED running lights, and full LED lights are available.

Sleeker Civic

New 2017 Honda Civic Hatch

Sleek, isn’t it? The new Civic is wider, longer and lower than any of the nine Civics before it, impressively – and a hefty 130mm longer, 30mm wider and 20mm lower than today’s car. Wheels are bigger, overhangs smaller and there’s more than a trace of new NSX supercar in the details and features throughout. Beneath, the platform is 16kg lighter and, more significantly, 52% stiffer, which promises great things for the on-the-road drive.

New engines…

New 2017 Honda Civic Hatch

Under the bonnet are two brand new turbo petrol VTEC engines; a 1.0-litre three-cylinder (replacing today’s 1.4) producing 129hp and a 1.5-litre four-cylinder (replacing the current 1.8) producing 182hp – both very punchy power figures indeed. Choose either with a snappy six-speed manual or a CVT automatic that Honda promises us won’t be horrible. A few months after launch, the third Civic engine choice will arrive: an updated version of today’s 120hp 1.6-litre turbodiesel.

… And new chassis

New 2017 Honda Civic Hatch

Hidden below the cool twin centre-exit exhausts that sports-grade new Civics get is an all-new suspension setup – that includes, pleasingly, a multi-link rear end. Honda got rid of this expensive suspension type on the current Civic, but has bought it back on the 10th generation car. Not only that, you can also get optional adaptive suspension, which Kariya-san told us he’s very excited about.

Interior revolution

New 2017 Honda Civic Hatch

If you thought the outside of the new Civic was a leap on, wait until you step inside. Gone is the low-rent, plasticky feel of today’s model and in comes a cockpit far more premium, upmarket and good quality. It’s a massive step forward for the Civic; sitting within it, you’ll think Germanic and upmarket rather than cheap and not particularly cheerful.

Infotainment upgrade

New 2017 Honda Civic Hatch

A semi-freestanding infotainment system is as modern as the current system is unpleasant. The Honda Connect system has a fast new processor, and combines Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Below it are good-to-push buttons, a typically-lovely Honda gearshift and, throughout, assembly standards that define precision.

Grown-up toys

New 2017 Honda Civic Hatch

The nasty, garish split-screen instrument panel of the current Civic has been ditched for a modern TFT configurable display screen. This looks super-smart and is hooked up to the infotainment system so it can show full-colour mapping right ahead of the driver. It’s considerably more sophisticated and good-looking.

Better driving position

New 2017 Honda Civic Hatch

The driving position of the new Civic is much-improved. We sat behind the wheel of a prototype and found the bigger seats much lower and more comfortable, the controls layout more natural, the gearstick positioned in a better place to make best use of its quick-fire nature. The current car feels a bit like an MPV: this one is much more like a sporty, low-slung family hatch, and customers are more likely to find it appealing as a result.

Concept teaser

New 2017 Honda Civic Hatch

Honda first teased the new British-built Civic hatch at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, and we’re pleased to discover just how much like it the production model looks. The showroom car IS this car, minus the lime green detailing and matt paint.

From America to England

New 2017 Honda Civic Hatch

The new Civic hatch is the third model in the new line to be launched: over in America, the Civic sedan and coupe have already scooped the North American Car of the Year prize. Honda engineered all three in Japan at the same time, pouring huge resources into creating the all-new platform that will help make all three ultra-competitive.

But what about the Type R?

New 2017 Honda Civic Hatch

You can’t go too far into discussing a new Honda Civic before the question of a new Type R comes up. Officially, the firm is saying nothing. Unofficially, we’d put good money on a new Type R coming sooner rather than later, perhaps using a further-upgraded version of today’s engine. All the ingredients – the multi-link rear suspension, the adaptive damper technology, the already-stylish looks – are in place to potentially make it truly heroic.

Goodbye, current Civic hatch

New 2017 Honda Civic Hatch

The arrival of the new Civic hatch means goodbye to the current ninth generation car. Developed during the global economic crisis, this was a cautious Honda developing a conservative car seemingly on a tight budget. It was worthy but simply wasn’t good enough to take on the best. It’s taught Honda a lesson, alright.

Current Tourer tours on

New 2017 Honda Civic Hatch

But the arrival of the new Civic does not mean the end of the current car. It will live on for a few more years in Tourer estate guise: Honda’s huge Swindon factory is flexible enough to allow both cars to coexist on the same line. In time, of course, you’d have to assume a new Civic Tourer would arrive… unless Honda’s decided the limited Euro-centric sales potential of the new car simply doesn’t justify its development?

Hands on: new Honda Civic

New 2017 Honda Civic Hatch

We had the chance to have a thorough rummage around the new Civic. And we were impressed. It looks really good, with crisp and distinctive lines dominated by that bold front end. It even looks more premium: Honda’s installed a new paint facility that applies a glossy, shiny clearcoat to give it a more sparking appearance.

Blobby to bold

New 2017 Honda Civic Hatch

The current Civic is a pretty blobby thing. The new one has a swooper, more coupe-like rear, enhanced by contoured rear wheelarches and cool wrap-around tail lights. The bold black insets are part of the sport-grade Civic, but all will share the same distinctive lines. Pride of place sit those great centre-exit tailpipes.

Actively safe

New 2017 Honda Civic Hatch

Visibility seems better in the new Civic, not least because the front end is lower. The windscreen is much deeper, so you don’t feel so perched when sitting inside it. This more panoramic visibility is a famed feature of the Honda NSX and it’s nice to see the company carry it over to here. It’ll be safe, too: all UK Civics, impressively, get Honda Sensing active safety as standard, a camera- and radar-based system that includes active city braking, active cruise control and traffic sign recognition.

Stowage aplenty

New 2017 Honda Civic Hatch

The current Civic is curiously both practical and frustrating. The new one demonstrates much clearer thinking and more intelligent ergonomic planning: the centre console is deep (and has a sliding cover, facilitated by an electronic parking brake), there’s not only space for a smartphone but an integrated wireless phone charger to juice it up, and even the door pockets are more cleverly designed than the current car.

Big boot remains

New 2017 Honda Civic Hatch

The current Civic has a massive boot, over 470 litres compared to a Golf’s 380 litres. The new one is bigger still: 478 litres, with a wide opening, flat load bay and, brilliantly, the most ingenious side-retract load bay cover you’ve ever seen. Folded up, it’s tiny: showroom appeal overload.

What next for the new Honda Civic?

New 2017 Honda Civic Hatch

So there it is, the new British-built Honda Civic hatch in all its glory. It’s already being shipped over to the United States and, next in the story is the Paris Motor Show public debut of the European one. Sales here will start in Q1 2016, with the diesel arriving later in the year, and we for one can’t wait. The new Civic looks good, feels great and has the mechanical promise to be a huge leap on from today’s car. Do we have a new class front-runner on our hands? The signs are good…

Banzai! Lifting the covers on Honda’s heritage collection

Banzai! Lifting the covers on Honda’s heritage collection

Banzai! Lifting the covers on Honda’s heritage collection

Tucked away on a quiet industrial estate in Bracknell you’ll find Honda UK’s press garage. Here, among the Civics and CR-Vs, is a mouthwatering line-up of perfectly preserved cars from Honda’s past.

The collection stretches from an original Mk1 Civic to a brace of NSXs – with various Type Rs and Mugens in-between. Join us for a guided tour…

Honda Civic (1975)

Honda Civic (1975)

We start with this delightful Mk1 Civic, a 1.2 Deluxe model in a very 1970s shade of ‘Carnaby Yellow’. The advertising slogan for the first Civic was ‘It will get you where you’re going’ – quite a novel concept for drivers more used to British Leyland cars of the time.

This particular Civic, chassis number 003, used to be a press demonstrator, so it came full-circle when Honda bought it back for the heritage fleet. It also featured in UK brochure shots when new.

The Civic is powered by a 50hp 1.2-litre engine mated to a four-speed manual gearbox. Top speed is 90mph and acceleration to 62mph takes a leisurely 15.2 seconds. This Deluxe model features an AM radio and heated rear window. Snazzy.

Honda Civic Type R (2005)

Honda Civic Type R (2005)

Leaping forward into the modern era, this is the second-generation Civic Type R (but the first to be sold in the UK). Known to enthusiasts as the EP3, it has a practical, MPV-style body and a screaming 200hp 2.0-litre VTEC engine. What’s not to like?

Honda originally planned to sell 1,500 Type Rs a year in the UK, but actually managed to quadruple that figure. British-built Type Rs were even exported back to Japan.

Not everyone loved the red Recaro seats (a Type R trademark), but few criticised the driving experience. At the time, Autocar magazine said it was “One of the most exhilarating and satisfying drivetrains of any car on sale, irrespective of price”. High praise indeed.

Honda Civic Type R (2010)

Honda Civic Type R (2010)

In 2007, EP3 gave way to FN2: a hot hatch that’s less universally loved. It had space-age styling and a power boost to 215hp from its 2.0-litre engine – enough for 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds.

This ‘Milano Red’ FN2 is one of the more desirable post-2009 cars, which had a limited-slip differential as standard. Note the split rear window: a styling theme that continues on the current Civic.

The interior of the eighth-generation Civic was pretty futuristic, too. Check out the split-level dashboard with no less than three information panels. It’s also quite red in here…

Honda S2000

Honda S2000

Honda’s rev-happy roadster only ceased production in 2009, but it’s already a modern classic. Thank its 240hp 2.0-litre engine, which is redlined at a motorbike-esque 9,000rpm. Producing an incredible 120hp per litre, it won four Engine of the Year awards.

The S2000 seen here is the last-of-the-line Edition 100 model, boasting 17-inch alloys and Grand Prix white paint. It could hit 62mph in 6.2 seconds and keep going to 150mph.

The plasticky – and rather cramped – interior is where the S2000 shows its age. But it’s still a real treat to drive: an analogue sports car in an increasingly digital age. The Telegraph said: “The S2000 begs to driven hard and the experience of doing so generously lightens the weight of life’s struggle.” Blimey.

Honda NSX (2005)

Honda NSX (2005)

When the Honda NSX was launched in 1990, it was revolutionary – something that is starting to become a theme of this gallery. Its aluminium construction was a first for a mass-produced car, and it boasted a chassis tuned with input from none other than F1 champ Ayrton Senna.

The first-generation model was axed in 2005 as sales declined, making this example on Honda’s heritage fleet one of the very last. Recently subject to a heavy rebuild following an incident involving a wet test track and an over-eager journo, MY05 NSX is showing just 30,000 miles on the clock.

Powered by a 3.2-litre VTEC engine, the NSX produced 280hp and could hit 62mph in 5.7 seconds. Being a later model, it used a slick six-speed manual gearbox and, unfortunately, lost the pop-up lights of the original model.

Honda NSX (1990)

Honda NSX (1990)

And talking of the original… Honda’s got one on its fleet. Designed to be a Ferrari-beater (in terms of performance, usability, reliability and well, everything really), the NSX was originally powered by a 3.0-litre quad-cam 24-valve VTEC V6.

And hasn’t it aged well? Its angular looks with pop-up headlights look as good today as they did 26 years ago – although the lack of a Ferrari badge on the front did put some buyers off.

The inside doesn’t look quite as special, although it does feel it – sitting low down and a long way forward with the engine positioned behind you. It’s a shame this one uses the four-speed ‘F-matic’ automatic gearbox.

Honda Insight

Honda Insight

In 1999, Honda introduced this weird futuristic thing called the Insight. A quirky hybrid-powered car with bold looks and only two seats, the Insight preceded the more mainstream (and more successful) Prius by a few months.

By combining a tiny 67hp 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine with an electric motor, Honda claimed the Insight was quick enough to rival conventional 1.5-litre cars. It was seriously innovative for its time – featuring regenerative braking, stop-start and even electric power steering.

This example in Honda’s heritage collection is in mint condition and was previously owned by a Honda employee. With around 250 officially sold in the UK, it has to be one of the best in the country.

Honda CR-Z

Honda CR-Z

Launched in 2010 as a spiritual successor to the Honda CR-X, the three-door CR-Z coupe featured a hybrid powertrain. This combined a 1.5-litre petrol VTEC engine with an electric motor – but performance was a smidgen disappointing, taking close to 10 seconds to hit 62mph.

With performance not living up to its appearance, and the compact coupe body resulting in poor practicality (and appalling visibility) the CR-Z sold in relatively small numbers in the UK. Its price tag of more than £20,000 probably didn’t help matters either. Not when you could pick up the excellent Ford Fiesta ST for £17,000.

But let’s not be entirely down about the CR-Z. Its hybrid powertrain was genuinely innovative at a time when everyone was buying diesel, and 56.5mpg was excellent for a sporty(ish) car. It also handled brilliantly.

Honda Civic Type R Mugen

Honda Civic Type R Mugen

Aftermarket tuning company Mugen was established in 1973 by Hirotoshi Honda – the son of Honda Motor Company founder Soichiro Honda. Although not owned by Honda, Mugen has worked closely over the years to provide performance variants of its models. One of which is this: the Honda Civic Type R Mugen.

Only 20 of these were ever built, with each one precision engineered in the UK by Mugen Euro and built to customer specifications – with a starting price of more than £40,000. The regular 2.0-litre VTEC engine was tuned to produce 240hp, using bespoke pistons, camshafts and an ECU remap, while the exhaust, wheels, brakes, suspension and gearbox all received the Mugen treatment.

The result was a hot hatch that could hit 62mph in 6.0 seconds flat and was described by Top Gear magazine as “so in tune with your every movement that you don’t so much drive it as simply think it around the track”.

Honda CR-Z Mugen

Honda CR-Z Mugen

Despite its sporty looks, the standard hybrid CR-Z was never a particularly dynamic car to drive. Mugen experimented with a hot interpretation, which supercharged the 1.5-litre petrol engine to produce 200hp (up from a lacklustre 124hp).

Around 50kg was shaved off the CR-Z’s kerb weight, while stiffer springs with adjustable dampers sharpened up the handling – helped, as well, by the addition of a limited-slip diff.

A unique Mugen exhaust means the CR-Z sounds the part, while its bodykit has a look of Max Power about it. This is aided by the lightweight 17-inch alloys and carbonfibre bonnet and doors.

To see more pictures of Honda’s heritage collection, click through our gallery on MSN Cars