Power and Efficiency:
The might of the Type R is powered by a 306bhp turbocharged 2.0 VTEC engine that has blistering performance and can sprint from 0 to 62 mph in just 5.7 seconds – making it the fastest accelerating performance front-wheel drive hatchback to date. Also, let’s not forget that top speed of 167 mph and 400Nm of torque. It’s been a while now since I have driven a car where both parts of the engine and chassis felt so moulded together – and if the pairing of those two is just not good enough for you – then Honda have done one more thing that will excite your senses that little bit more – the +R mode button.
Pressing that little round button will unleash yet another storm that will intensify the whole driving experience so much more that you will be giddy with excitement and you will immediately need to be locked in a very small room to have a lie down.
On the road:
Honda’s Adaptive Damper System was developed specifically for the Type R and it enables continuous independent control of each wheel – which in turn delivers exceptional road holding. Also, I really did try to get the Type R out of shape into the corners under normal road conditions but it was just so planted – all I can remember thinking is ‘dam this thing is really good’ then there are the brakes that are just as staggering. Again – press the +R button and the whole car changes. I’m not talking about a bit more torque here and there – I am talking about the whole car morphing into something else. Press the button if you dare – and the response of the various chassis and drivetrain are activated, where the engine responsiveness is heightened, the torque map is changed, the steering becomes more responsive and the damping force of the Adaptive Damper System is increased by 30%.
Design & Technology
When you look at the Type R – it looks very aggressive and that aerodynamic styling makes you almost stop in your tracks and take in the depth of what’s in front of you. To be honest it would not look out of place in a re-run of ‘Back To The Future’.
Now, that really would be a race I would like to see – Doc Brown’s Flux Capacitor Delorean DMC-12 vs. a Civic Type R GT. I will let you decide on the winner of that race and please feel free to tell me your views on who you think would win.
Also, I must have been stopped at least a dozen times this week by people just wanting to look at it. I’m not kidding – it’s been a strange week. But to be fair – it does look like it’s straight from the race track with its big rear spoiler and wide arches. Most people just stood there and looked – but others just wanted to drive it. It’s been a long time since a car I was driving around the city had been given so much attention. Even the boy racers in the Audi S3’s, Ford ST and the Golf R just nodded – and you know what? Not one of them tried to race me, and I think that’s because it’s a Type R – it just seems to have road respect with the likes of the road racers and the car cruisers. Also, sometimes it’s just not always about BHP or how big your boost valve is.
Inside the Type R you will also find very figure hugging sports seats that if you are old and not as agile as me – you will find a little tricky getting in and out of. Standard equipment on the Type R such; Honda CONNECT infotainment system, Limited slip differential, Brembo discs & callipers, Four Point Adaptive Damper System, Dual axis strut front suspension, Rear parking camera, LED headlights, City-Brake Active System, H-shaped torsion rear beam along with climate control and cruise control. Opt for the GT spec and you get the additions of; Auto lights and wipers, parking sensors front and rear, ambient light, Driver Assistance Safety Systems, duel zone climate control and Honda Connect infotainment system with 320w power speakers and Garmin navigation.
To sum up: What more can I possibly say – the Type R is an epic machine that I cannot possibly fault. Of course in the end, this does cause me a problem. The Focus ST and the Golf R are great cars – there is no doubting that, but given a choice between the two I would struggle to pick one of them outright. If we are talking about pure power and speed – then the Type R wins it for me as it a very full on ‘catch me if you can’ sort of racer. Whereas the Golf R is fast, but if you drive a Golf R fast into a corner – you will feel the body jiggle a little whereas in the Type R there is none of that its just flat and very very fast.
The Focus ST is also a brilliant piece of engineering – and it really does have very little faults and it’s a pretty good looking car too – but it does not command the road presence that The Golf or the Type R commands. If you really are asking me to choose between them – then I would pick the Type R because I like its outlandish if not dare I say it ‘boy racer looks’ and its very fiery engine. Of course this is only my own opinion and really what do I know – because I used to own a VW UP!
Price: £32,295 OTR (GT Spec)
Honda Civic Type R GTPrice: £32,295 OTR
Performance & Fuel Economy10/10
Interior Comfort & Features8/10
Ride & Handling10/10
Value for Money8/10
What we liked
- - Raw power is epic
- - Point & shoot driving mode
- - Good list of standard equipment
What we didn't like
- - Not a car for the faint hearted
- - Firm ride for some