New production-ready Honda Civic Type R hot hatch debuts at the Geneva motor show with V-TEC Turbo engine – wants Renault Megane RS blood.
Honda has finally taken the wraps off its new turbocharged Civic Type R hot hatch at the Geneva motor show. There have been countless teaser images, leaks, concept cars and spy images but now finally, the Civic you see here is the real deal.
As expected, the new model is turbocharged so there’s no 9000rpm redline, but the added grunt means this Type R will kick harder than any before. Power comes from a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder V-TEC Turbo engine producing 306hp, while the 0-62mph sprint takes just 5.7 seconds.
Unlike the new Ford Focus RS, the Civic is sticking to its guns, using a front-wheel drive setup with all kinds of clever suspension bits to reduce torque steer and understeer normally associated with really powerful front drivers. Honda is calling it Dual Axis front suspension, but it’s basically the same as the old Revo Knuckle system fitted to the last front-drive Focus RS which uses a traditional MacPherson suspension setup with an additional steering knuckle. It’s all a bit complicated but works.
The rear suspension has also been tickled compared to the standard Civic, now featuring a ‘crushed pipe’ – sounds exciting, and apparently stiffens up the rear torsion beam suspension and gives less roll. There’s also adaptive dampers at each corner.
Compared to the various concept cars that preceded it, the new Type R looks pretty sharp too. Most of the front end aggressiveness has carried over, so there’s a naughty front splitter, big air intakes, new headlights and wider arches which incorporate cooling ducts around the front wheels to reduce lift – just like the new 911 GT3 RS.
At the rear things have been toned down slightly so you don’t get the cool horn-shaped taillights which work into the rear spoiler, but you do get a pretty rowdy rear diffuser with quad exhaust tips. And I doubt anyone will complain the rear spoiler is too small…
It isn’t subtle, it looks fast and has red Honda badges – anyone who’s a fan of fast V-TEC Hondas should be excited by this car.
Inside it’s all a bit boy-racer with red bucket seats, but the whole dashboard and center console strikes me as looking a bit cheap and nasty – could be the photos, but maybe not. We’ll find out when the new Type R goes on sale in Europe in the coming months.