By Asian Journal Auto Editor
There have been four versions of the legendary Civic Type R since 1997. But none of these high-performance cars have ever been sold in Canada, leaving Canuck fans of the Type R deeply salivating until now! Honda is allowing a limited run for sale leaving buyers in feeding frenzy to snap one up in the Great North.
But what is all the fuss about the R-Type? What exactly is the hallowed Type R? Well Honda’s Type R is a very high-performance version of the humble Honda Civic sedan stuffed with cool performance parts and wicked engineering tweaks. It looks the part too, with its huge air intakes, hood scoop, vortex generator vanes above the rear window, three rear center mounted exhaust pipes, aero body kit, a humongous rear wing and giant 20-inch wheels shod with continental high-performance tires. But wait for it, wait for it! The Type R is also the most powerful Honda ever sold in Canada with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine massaged to Type R, specs producing 306 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 295 lb-ft of torque from 2,500 – 4,500 rpm. Engineering magic by the Honda Boffins also feature a completely new dual strut design front suspension layout featuring larger anti-roll bars, aluminum knuckles and lower arms for reduced torque steer, faster cornering and better handling. Add to the mix, a three-mode adjustable damping, a helical limited slip differential and a brake-based torque vectoring system. In fact, Honda says the new Type R is the fastest front-wheel drive car around Germany’s famed Nürburgring racing circuit where many high-performance cars get developed and tested. Transmission naturally is a short throw six speed manual with a beefed-up clutch, sorry no automatic option! Big high performance Brembo brakes add welcoming stopping power.
With four doors and hatchback the Type R is roomy and practical with decent space for passengers and cargo. The Type R has a huge 727.7-litre trunk and folding rear seats. Inside the form hugging contoured front sports seats are Type R tradition – signature red, and heavily side bolstered, while a short round aluminum shifter dominates the centre console. Bright Type R badges, carbon fibre like trim and red highlights remind one that this is no ordinary Civic. Equipment levels are very good, and the Type R arrives with all the creature comforts including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. For the boy racer brigade there is as centrally mounted shift light and a cool automatic rev-matching system. The Type R’s red-illuminated meter cluster features a 7-inch Drivers Information Interface (DII) that includes a range of selectable real-time information designed to support performance driving. The system can display throttle and brake application in a graphic percentage format, turbocharger boost pressure, lap time (intended for use on closed circuits) and shift lights. A graphical G-metre provides a representation of acceleration, braking and cornering forces.
On the road, performance is excellent with superb traction and a chassis that is so well engineered it handles all condition of roads. The turbocharged VTEC offers scintillating power. The short throw gears are a tad notchy, but that’s needed to ensure more precise shifts and as a counterweight to the heavier, modulated clutch action. With all that torque, I would rather have a more determined firm shifter action than slip into the wrong gear! On acceleration the revised front suspension mitigates the expected torque steer allowing for blistering fast launches – if you are inclined. The Adaptive Damper System, along with the dual-pinion variable-ratio electric power steering, drive-by-wire throttle, and brake system, are integrated to the Type R’s three selectable driving modes, with COMFORT, SPORT and +R settings. The steering is sharp, with enough feedback that you can drift the Type R wonderfully through sharp bends at its limit without breakout. Fuel economy is surprisingly good, officially rated at 10.6 L/100 km city and 8.3 highway. In short the Type R has been long awaited and it is not hard to see why. Supercar performance and driving thrills for a fraction of the cost. Limited availability so move fast. Note only two color choices – Black or White. A modern day automotive icon!
2018 Honda Civic Type R priced from $41,090. More info at: www.honda.ca