It’s been five years of hibernation, but it appears that Honda is back in the performance car game, both with its upcoming NSX supercar and its pocket-rocket, the Honda Civic Type R.
Eschewing CTR tradition, the reborn hot hatch will employ a turbocharged power unit of 2.0 litres capacity. It does employ VTEC variable camshaft timing along with direct injection to help it rev to 7000rpm, though that’s still over 1000rpm short of its illustrious naturally-aspirated predecessors.
Peak power of 228kW is produced at 6500rpm with 400Nm of torque arriving at only 2500rpm, which tells you all you need to know about the decision to go turbocharged. The claimed 0-100km/h benchmark is 5.7sec with an immense 270km/h top speed. The sole transmission option is a six-speed manual.
Said to ‘set new standards in the segment’, the Honda Civic Type R project aim was to create a clichéd race car for the road. The development team made use of CFD modelling and wind tunnel testing to ensure a shape that is aerodynamically efficient yet stable at speed, the on-screen results then put to the racetrack test to ensure real-world translation. Suzuka and the inevitable Nordschleife were primarily used for this purpose.
The result is a near-flat underside with functional rear diffuser and effective rear wing. Up front a splitter and side skirts harness the airflow.
Rolling stock incorporates light, rigid 19-inch alloy wheels fitted with 235/35/19 tyres, specifically developed for the Honda Civic Type R. Braking is supplied via Brembo with 350mm drilled front discs and four-piston calipers.
In addition to the traditional Championship White seen here, there are four additional exterior colours, including a pearlescent Crystal Black, metallic Polished Metal and Brilliant Sporty Blue, as well as a standard Milano Red.
A machined alloy gear knob harks back to previous Honda Civic Type R models, with high-backed, contoured suede-effect seats offering high levels of lateral support.
Under the skin is a four-position adaptive damper system which independently controls each wheel. Dual Axis front suspension is employed and is said to reduce torque steer by 50 per cent (think along the lines of the last-gen Ford Focus RS and current Renault Sport Megane R.S. 275). An H-shaped torsion beam is adopted in the rear, adding a ‘crushed pipe’ to improve rear roll rigidity by 180 per cent over the conventional system.
The advanced suspension is complemented by Honda’s Dual Pinion Electric Power Steering, said to provide ‘rapid yet linear’ response and feel.
Following the ‘adaptive’ trend set since the last Honda Civic Type R, the new machine will provide a cockpit button that engages ‘+R’ mode. This alters items such as the torque mapping, steering and basic damping force, which is increased 30 per cent. The result is further focus on performance.
Honda has also made a GT Pack available. This option pack adds red highlights to front and rear, along with convenience and safety items such as parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, auto wipers, sat-nav and a premium eight-speaker sound system.
Deliveries of UK-spec right-hand drive Honda Cvic Type R is expected from May 2015. Honda Australia has yet to confirm delivery timing, but expect it to be no earlier than Q4 2015.