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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…

Honda Civic Type R – 2009

Honda Civic Type R is this summer’s hottest used car

Honda Civic Type R – 2009The most heroic used car you should be looking at this Bank Holiday weekend is the Honda Civic Type R, says Glass’s – and it’s probably better secondhand than it ever was when new, adds the automotive data provider.

The second generation Civic Type R, sold between 2006-2011, “was never quite in the front rank of hot hatches (when new) but it makes a really strong buy used”, said Glass’s used car editor Rob Donaldson.

“The dramatic looks have aged well, performance is on a par with rivals and Honda build quality means that it should rack up high mileages with few difficulties.”

In naming the Honda Civic Type R its used car hero for August, Glass’s reckons the Brit-built Japanese car’s outstanding value, quality and ability help nudge it ahead of the Volkswagen Golf GTI on the used market.

It’s also cheaper than the Golf GTI secondhand: Glass’s says the best buy, a 2009 car in Championship White, can be bought with 75,000 miles on the clock for £6,000 – that’s £1,000 less than a comparable Golf GTI.

All Civic Type R are well equipped, adds Donaldson, “but if you can find one, the GT model adds a few worthwhile extras like climate and cruise control, and folding mirrors.”

The only downside to its hot hatch hot weather hero choice for August is an unyielding ride, but the otherwise excellent driving experience, purposeful styling and a good looking Recaro interior all make up for it.

Glass’s Honda Civic Type R hero worship comes as Honda of America confirms there’ll be an all-new Civic Type R in 2017 – just two years after the current champ went on sale.

Honda Civic Type R – 2009

Honda Civic Type R is this summer's hottest used car

Honda Civic Type R – 2009The most heroic used car you should be looking at this Bank Holiday weekend is the Honda Civic Type R, says Glass’s – and it’s probably better secondhand than it ever was when new, adds the automotive data provider.

The second generation Civic Type R, sold between 2006-2011, “was never quite in the front rank of hot hatches (when new) but it makes a really strong buy used”, said Glass’s used car editor Rob Donaldson.

“The dramatic looks have aged well, performance is on a par with rivals and Honda build quality means that it should rack up high mileages with few difficulties.”

In naming the Honda Civic Type R its used car hero for August, Glass’s reckons the Brit-built Japanese car’s outstanding value, quality and ability help nudge it ahead of the Volkswagen Golf GTI on the used market.

It’s also cheaper than the Golf GTI secondhand: Glass’s says the best buy, a 2009 car in Championship White, can be bought with 75,000 miles on the clock for £6,000 – that’s £1,000 less than a comparable Golf GTI.

All Civic Type R are well equipped, adds Donaldson, “but if you can find one, the GT model adds a few worthwhile extras like climate and cruise control, and folding mirrors.”

The only downside to its hot hatch hot weather hero choice for August is an unyielding ride, but the otherwise excellent driving experience, purposeful styling and a good looking Recaro interior all make up for it.

Glass’s Honda Civic Type R hero worship comes as Honda of America confirms there’ll be an all-new Civic Type R in 2017 – just two years after the current champ went on sale.

2015 Honda Civic Type-R

New Honda Civic Type-R confirmed for 2017

2015 Honda Civic Type-RThe all-new Honda Civic Type-R will launch in 2017, Honda has confirmed – less than a year after the roll-out of the new UK-built 10th-generation Civic hatchback.

It means that, unlike with today’s car, hot hatch fans won’t have to wait years for a new high-performance Civic to arrive.

The quick launch of the new Civic Type-R means it is likely to go on sale little more than two years after the launch of the current 306hp turbo VTEC model. This would bolster the collectability of the latest model.

According to Honda North America, the new Civic Type-R is likely to be just as thrilling as the existing ninth-generation model: it’s described the car as “radical” in confirming it will launch in the U.S. in 2017.

Honda North America’s expose of model plans for the new Civic Type-R also underline the fact it will be derived from the Euro-spec five-door hatchback, so once again be built in the UK.

The production version of the new Honda Civic will make its pubic debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show at the end of September.

What will the new Civic Type R be like?

2017 Honda Civic

The new 10th generation Civic is built upon an all-new platform that, unlike the recent few Civics, returns to fully independent rear suspension. This will delight Honda purists who believe the firm’s cars should always come with the most well-engineered suspension possible.

An independent rear is certain to enhance the hot new Type-R as well.

The current cars has some trick engineering to overcome the compromises of a solid rear axle: standard adaptive dampers up the skill levels and allowed the engineers to offset the suspension’s more restricted pool of abilities. But it would undoubtedly be a better car with more finesse if it had a fully independent rear end.

A stiffer architecture will be a further boon, as will the fact Honda engineers seemingly are developing the Type-R from day one, rather than adapting an existing platform to create one.

It’s likely Honda will use a version of the current 2.0-litre VTEC turbo engine though, rather than develop an all-new one. This motor was created fresh for the current Type-R and it’s thus not necessary to make another all-new one.

Indeed, perhaps this is why the engine has so much power in today’s Type-R: Honda was future-proofing it with the all-new 2017 Civic Type-R in mind…

Honda Civic Type R

Memories of Max Power: the Honda Civic Type R

Honda 1

I misspent a large part of my youth reading Max Power. With its potent mix of hotted-up cars and dumbed-down jokes, Max was – briefly – Britain’s bestselling car magazine. That’s no mean feat for a publication boasting ‘Show us your sister’, a feature that encouraged teenage boys to send in photos of their scantily-clad siblings.

But I digress. Because above all, Max Power was about the cars: Vauxhall Novas slammed onto 17-inch alloys, Citroen Saxos with bass bins instead of back seats and Escort RS Turbos with gasket-busting levels of boost. It spawned an entire automotive subculture, with scant regard for the opinions of older petrolheads, parents or the police.

But Max’s readers got older, and the increasing difficulty of modifying cars (along with soaring insurance premiums) saw the tuning scene decline – and Max Power with it. Its final issue was printed in 2011. However, the spirit of the mag lives on in the new Honda Civic Type R.

Honda 2

Now, at the age of 36, I’ll admit the ruby-ringed alloys and sky-scraping spoiler make me feel slightly self-conscious. It’s all a bit in-yer-face for a man edging towards middle-age. However, when I was 17, things would have been very different. With outrageous styling, scarlet seats, a G-FORCE METER (!) and way more power than its scrabbling front tyres can handle, the Type R would have been my perfect car.

That’s not to suggest the Honda is some half-baked ‘project car’, modded to within an inch of its life. It’s a well-engineered hot hatch that loses none of the vanilla Civic’s practicality or usability. Plus, on the right road, it’s faster than anything this side of a BMW M3.

So while some of us mourn the passing of Max, and the exciting (and yes, often terrible) cars it inspired, it somehow seems less relevant now. When you can pick from 300hp+ hatchbacks like the Type R, VW Golf R and Ford Focus RS – and have a manufacturer warranty to boot – the need to modify seems moot.

Maybe Max Power isn’t dead after all. Like most youth subcultures, it’s simply grown up and joined the mainstream.

Honda Civic Type R 2015

7 ways the Honda Civic Type R rewrites the hot hatch rulebook

Honda Civic Type R 2015Honda has taken ages launching the new Civic Type R. Years, in fact. Some never expected it to ever arrive but now it’s finally here, going on sale in Europe this summer with a set of stats that knock every rival into shape.

It’s the fastest, quickest-accelerating, most powerful hot hatch in the sector. It’s certainly the most outlandish-looking. And, with prices starting from £29,995, it’s certainly one of the most expensive too.

Honda Type R: a history in pictures

But chasing headlines is one thing. Delivering on the road and on the track is another. Honda, though, has delivered, and then some. Here are seven ways in which it’s rewritten the hot hatch rulebook.

1: It looks quite amazing

Honda Civic Type R 2015

There’s not a hot hatch on the market that looks as exciting as the Civic Type R. With its flared arches, multi-vented front wings, wrap-around front splitter, huge 19-inch alloys and, of course, god’s own rear spoiler, nobody could possibly confuse it for anything else. It’s wow factor overload.

The rear wing is so big, it casts shadows on the ground and pokes out both sides of car into the view of the door mirrors. It’s not just ‘big’, either, but complex in shape and sculpture: Honda’s WTCC racing team has designed it to produce downforce at speed.

You can get it in classic Type R Championship White, but we preferred the launch red alternative, which looked even more bespoke, purposeful and race-ready. Here is your hot hatch equivalent of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

2: It combines space and practicality with a monster set of seats

Honda Civic Type R 2015

First thing we noticed inside the Civic Type R was the colossal 498-litre boot. It’s as unexpectedly deep as, well, a 911’s front trunk is (mounting the fuel tank in the centre’s how they’ve done it).

Then we opened the rear doors (it’s five-door only) and clocked the unexpectedly spacious rear, with loads of legroom despite the chunky high-backed front seats. It’s probably the most practical, family-friendly hot hatch out there.

Honda Civic Type R 2015

And then into the front, to be presented with a simply brilliant set of front bucket seats. They sit you 20mm lower than a standard Civic (a bit lower would be nicer still) and are so deeply and firmly bolstered, it hurts you to get in and out of them if you drop in like a normal car.

Instead, you need to get in and out like a racing driver. Which is rather fitting, really.

3: It’s got serious attitude

Honda Civic Type R 2015

Pressing the starter button fires Honda’s first-ever turbo VTEC engine into a rumbly, focused tickover. It’s ‘there’, alright. The first time into first will have you double-shifting to check it’s actually selected – that’s how short-shift the ultra-snappy gearbox is.

Right away, it shows its attitude. In town, the ride can be painfully firm as the bespoke Continental tyres clatter into potholes and over expansion joints. Both engine and exhausts are prominent, and the gradual explode as turbo boost builds with higher revs is grin-inducingly lively.

With its black cabin, central rev counter, small flat-bottom steering wheel, taut seats, surface aggression, quick-witted steering and fast-reacting front end, the Civic Type R had attitude, alright. As speeds build, you discover it’s of the serious and skilled sort.

4: It’s an explosive performer

Honda Civic Type R 2015

VTEC AND a turbo? 310hp, 295lb ft of torque, 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds and a 167mph top speed? Guess what – it’s fast. It’s not the manic sort of speed that you got in the old Type R, where all the go was delivered at howling revs just shy of the redline.

No, this is the explosive sort of performance: way more speed than you expect is served up way more quickly than you think. It’s more subtle than non-turbo Type Rs but, at the same time, more purposeful, giving more bang for buck.

It isn’t like some other turbos, where you get loads of easy-going shove at low revs. There can be a bit of lag in the mid-range and you’ll still have to use the ultra-fast gearshift more than you do in a SEAT Leon Cupra. Sure, it’s not as flat as the older Type Rs at walking revs – but boy, does it share their love of revs.

You still naturally howl it past the 4,000rpm boom patch and keep it in the loud, aggressive-sounding 5,000-7,000rpm zone, because this is where it relishes being. Here, it’s positive, double-take fast, thrilling and spoiled only by the sudden onset of the rev limiter at the 7k redline.

Throw it into another gear at rifle-bolt speed and let the perfectly-spaced gear ratios take you straight back into the engine’s sweet spot. And chase after that Porsche Cayman you’re keeping honest.

5: Would you believe, it can handle all its power?

Honda Civic Type R 2015

ALL that power through just TWO front wheels? Is Honda serious? At the first bootful, you expect either the front tyres to light up, the traction control to go into overload or the front end to torque steer plain off the road – or a fantastic combination of all three – so it’s little short of amazing to discover it does none of this.

Instead, the front wheels bite and cleanly let the fiery engine’s full whack take effect. Just the odd tweak of the steering wheel and tiniest bit of front end sniff let you in on just how jolly hard the helical limited-slip differential and its associated components are working.

It’s not through accident, this rewriting of the front-wheel drive rulebook. Honda’s developed double-axis front suspension to minimise the lever effects of torque steer. Tirelessly developed the Continental tyres’ characteristics. Even engineered two grades of material elasticity for left and right driveshafts so that they bend at the same rate despite being different lengths.

6: It’s hardcore without being hard-edged

Honda Civic Type R 2015

As you’ve perhaps guessed, the Civic Type R hasn’t gone soft. The engine is loud, exhausts snort, the ride can bite, the seats can bite and you’ll easily make mincemeat of almost every other hot hatch you’ll encounter.

But it’s not too much. At speed, it cruises with surprisingly little wind or tyre noise (only the engine remains prominent, and we quite like that). The high-speed ride quality is unbelievably fluid, supple and controlled – adaptive dampers are standard and they give controlled cushioning some big wheel’d rivals can only dream of.

The extra torque over a non-turbo VTEC makes everyday driving a whole lot easier too, particularly when the pedals and gearshift operate with this much racecar precision.

That’s the difference between this car and the old Civic Type R. That was hard-edged and, at times, too much. This one has all the attitude but only rarely crosses the line into truly uncomfortable aggression.

Even when you purposefully ask for more attitude and press the ‘R+’ button on the dash – dials go red, dampers go 30% stiffer, steering goes heavier, engine response goes faster – does it stay sane. It’s a sport mode that actually works rather than just making things a bit more frenetic.

The Renaultsport Megane Trophy-R probably still edges it for on-centre steering feel and sharpness. Its more uncompromising chassis setup means the right-roads interaction might shade the Civic Type R. But it’s the more intense, more full-on experience of the two as a result. That the Civic gives all the hardcore thrills it does without doubling the Megane’s more hard-edged nature is quite something.

7: It’s temptingly affordable

Honda Civic Type R 2015

£30,000 is a lot for a hot hatch, at first glance. But it’s not so much for a 310hp hot hatch, and it’s a full £8,000 cheaper than the Renaultsport Megane Trophy-R whose Nurburgring lap record Honda earlier this year announced it had stolen.

There’s a Type R GT too, adding more luxuries, sat nav and a better stereo for a £2,300 lift: spot these cars on the road from their red stripe detail in the front and rear bumpers.

It does 38.7mpg and emits 170g/km CO2, so will go further on a gallon and cost less to tax than the old Type R, and Honda will even sell you five years’ servicing for a mere £500. Remarkable.

Best of all, you can buy it for £300 a month. OK, you need a 30% deposit, but it’s still one of the best hot hatches you can buy for a mere £10 a day. £10 a month more will get you into the GT too, adds Honda.

VERDICT: 2015 Honda Civic Type R

Honda Civic Type R 2015

The 2015 Honda Civic is a searing hot hatch that brings proper attitude and double-take performance to the sector. As rivals become more urbane, it’s a welcome blast of Type R past, one that’s been made more contemporary thanks to turbo tech, smart differentials and suspension setup, clever dampers and other surprisingly exotic technologies for a £30k car.

It shouldn’t work: Type R enthusiasts should hate it as it’s a turbo Type R, but they’ll love it as it’s still a revvy VTEC at heart. And purists should hate it because it goes against everything we’re told about how much power you can put through two front wheels, and makes it work with hungry, sharp-tooth’d bite.

It’s a welcome addition to the blossoming hot hatch sector, and a welcome return to form for Honda and Type R. Right now, as the Renaultsport Megane ages, the Golf GTI awaits more power and we await the Ford Focus RS, it might just be the best big-bang hot hatch out there.

STATISTICS: 2015 Honda Civic Type R

Power: 310hp at 6,500rpm

Torque: 295lb ft at 2,500rpm

0-62mph: 5.7 seconds

Top speed: 167mph

Combined fuel economy: 38.7mpg

CO2: 170g/km

RIVALS: 2015 Honda Civic Type R

Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV

BMW M135i

Ford Focus RS

Renaultsport Megane 275 Trophy-R

SEAT Leon Cupra

Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance Pack

Research a new Honda Civic

Buy a used Honda Civic Type R on Auto Trader

Honda Civic Type R

Fastest Honda Civic Type R ever is greenest yet, too

Honda Civic Type RHonda has confirmed the new Civic Type-R doesn’t just get a big boost in performance, but also becomes the greenest hot Civic yet built.

The firm has announced the British-built car averages 38.7mpg on the NEDC combined cycle, which equates to CO2 emissions of 170g/km.

This compares to just 31mpg and a chunky 215g/km CO2 for the 2007-2010 FN2 Civic Type R.

It means buyers of the new 310hp Nurburgring FWD record lap time-claiming Civic benefit from band H VED road fund licence, costing £210 a year; the old car is in band K, costing £290.

The new Civic Type R is also Euro 6 emissions compliant.

Honda’s efficiency boost is all the more impressive when you consider the massive 110hp power boost between the two Civic Type Rs: the new 2.0-litre turbo version is over a second faster to 62mph, clocking 5.7 seconds in the benchmark dash. It will also do 167mph.

Part of the economy gain comes through the addition of Idling Stop – functionality that is disabled when the new R+ mode is selected.

But then, as this also makes the engine mapping more aggressive, quickens the steering gearing and ups its weight, ups damping forces by 30% and allows more yaw in corners before the VSA stability control kicks in, maybe fuel economy won’t be the first thing on drivers’ minds in this mode…

Honda Civic Type R prototype review (2013)

Honda-Civic-Type-R-3

  • Early chance to drive Honda’s forthcoming Civic Type R hot hatch
  • 280hp 2.0 is first turbocharged Type R, target: Nürburgring record
  • £27,000 (estimate tbc) | not on sale until 2015
  • CJ Hubbard | November 2013

    This is not your ordinary first drive review. Honda has flown us to its Tochigi research and design facility in Japan to get an early taste of the next Civic Type R.

    ‘Early’ and ‘taste’ are the operative words here, as the long-awaited new version of Honda’s hot hatch still isn’t due to go on sale until 2015, and our time behind the wheel was limited to just two laps of a high speed oval test track. Which is to say, one that doesn’t really have any challenging corners.

    However, this unusually premature access still means something because the Civic Type R is an utterly vital car for Honda – not so much in terms of direct sales, but as one of those fabled halo products, a model that sets the tone for the entire range. Or in this case, resets it, for since the last Type R was discontinued, it seems like Honda has become increasingly marginalised as the result of a portfolio that’s in many respects very worthy, but also rather dull.

    There is a convoluted series of reasons for Honda’s apparent withdrawal – including the global recession and even natural disaster. The Type R signifies the company’s coming rejuvenation: in 2015 Honda will also launch a new Jazz supermini and NSX supercar into Europe, while re-entering Formula One as engine supplier to McLaren.

    Honda desperately wants to be seen as a performance brand again. 280hp in a family hatchback ought to help.

    Honda-Civic-Type-R-1

    What is the 2013 Honda Civic Type R Prototype like to drive?

    280hp – instantly we know something we didn’t before setting off to Japan. While Honda revealed some time ago that the Type R would feature a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol for the first time, up until now exactly how powerful that turbo engine would be has remained a closely guarded mystery.

    280hp makes for one rampant Civic – we’d estimate 0-62mph in around six seconds, and that’s with only the front wheels transferring the torque to the tarmac (its most potent rivals are driven by all four). Honda isn’t saying how much torque there is, but mid-range response is snarling urgent and there’s more than enough to tweak the steering wheel in the corners.

    Though it doesn’t scream as high as Type Rs past, Honda has retained that trademark VTEC snap towards the 7,000rpm red line, a sequence of coloured shift lights coming quick – green, yellow, red – in an occasionally futile effort to keep you off the rev limiter. No excuses, just indulgence, given the sweet, sweet six-speed manual gearbox, which snicks from cog to cog with a quite literal flick of the wrist.

    Even with the torque nibbling at your chosen trajectory – all part of the fun in a furious front-driver – the Type R feels far more precise and determined than wild and unruly. With still another 18 months before it hits showrooms, you’d anticipate some teething troubles, yet the steering seems convincingly weighted, the chassis slack-free, and there’s little sign of excess bodyroll in the corners.

    Only issue of note during our brief stint was the wince-inducing exhaust resonance when slowing right down. This is unlikely to be an issue in production.

    Honda-Civic-Type-R-4

    Can the Civic Type R really set a new Nürburgring lap record?

    Under the circumstances, it’s impossible to pass any kind of final judgement on the Civic Type R’s handling and ride stiffness, except to say everything already feels like it’s coming together. And so it should, given Honda has also already been testing on the Nürburgring.

    Usually, this would be a throwaway remark – Germany’s famous 13-mile circuit is basic training for most modern performance cars. But in 2012, when Honda’s president Takanobu Ito confirmed the Type R’s return, he also announced it would break the front-wheel drive Nürburgring lap record. This means firing it round (and up, and down) in less than the 8 minutes 8 seconds taken by the Renault Megane 265 with its sublime Renaultsport chassis.

    Honda seems confident it can give Renault a pasting. So much so it’s now targeting the 8-minute barrier – which makes you wonder what the Civic will be like as a regular road car. Gladly, below the instrument cluster is an R button, which increases the engine response, alters the steering weight and stiffens the suspension in preparation for track work.

    Yes, in addition to sticky tyres, 19-inch alloy wheels, an aggressive aero-optimised bodykit and big rear spoiler, Brembo brakes and that ferocious engine, this Type R also has variable damping for the first time. Volkswagen is the benchmark for normal driving behaviour, suggesting this Civic will be a civilised animal – if an animal all the same.

    MR VERDICT: 2013 HONDA CIVIC TYPE R PROTOTYPE

    The very fact that Honda has granted us such early access to the new Civic Type R tells you how seriously it is taking this project – after years out in the hot hatch wilderness, Honda is coming back not so much with a bang as an enormous whoosh. The firm’s intense obsession with engineering details seems certain to deliver yet another engine that stands up against the very best.

    So long as it doesn’t get bogged down in the minutae of beating that Nürburgring record, and remembers that the best hot hatches aren’t always the fastest but the most fun to drive, Honda’s is one halo that doesn’t look like it’s going to slip.

    MR_4_star

     

     

    Rivals:

    • Renault Megane Renaultsport 265 – from £26,745
    • Vauxhall Astra VXR – from £27,010
    • Audi S3 – from £30,640
    • Volkswagen Golf R – from £29,900
    • BMW M135i – from £30,570

    Specification

    Engine 2.0-litre VTEC Turbo petrol

    Gearbox six-speed manual, front-wheel drive

    Price from £28,000 est.

    Power 280hp

    Torque n/a

    0-62mph  6.0 seconds (est.)

    Top speed 150mph+

    MPG n/a

    CO2 n/a