Australia missed out on the previous Honda Civic Type R, leaving fans of the iconic red R badge in the lurch, but the hiatus comes to an end in October when the tenth-generation version touches down and it promises to bring potent performance wrapped up in a likable Japanese package. .
Much noise is already being made about the new Type R’s comparatively swift 5.7-second 0-100km/h time (a time which Honda says puts it at the head of its class), but there are many other facts and figures that should get hardcore hatch fans all hot and bothered.
Here are our favourite Civic Type R fast facts to pass the final three months until it arrives in Australia.
- Honda has now confirmed that the Type R will complete the benchmark zero to 100km/h dash in 5.7 seconds, on to a top speed of 272km/h thanks to its 235kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Honda says those figures make it the fastest vehicle in its class.
- Rather than a compact and low-cost torsion beam rear suspension that is commonplace under small hatchbacks, the Type R has a multi-link set up – an arrangement known for its combination of comfortable ride, improved stability and road holding. In April, the new version lapped the esteemed Nurburgring in Germany in a very respectable 7min 43.8 seconds, giving it the front-wheel drive production car lap record.
- Suspension characteristics, throttle response and steering sensitivity will be switchable from more comfortable settings, through to a firmer Sport configuration right through to a hardcore, track-optimised +R setting.
- The Civic development programme was the largest global project to be completed by Honda, with the Type R performance flagship developed alongside the rest of the hatch and sedan range.
- Honda’s hot cars may be well known on Australian soil but the new Civic Type R will be the first Honda Type R sold in the US. Until now, Type R variants have worn the North America-specific Acura brand. It’s fitting, given the new Type R’s 2.0-litre turbo engine is manufactured in the US of A.
- A new Agile Handling Assist feature lightly brakes the inside front wheel when turning to sharpen responsiveness and help the Civic turn in more crisply. It works at both low and high speeds, and some may know this feature by a different name – brake torque vectoring.
- Stopping will also be no problem with 350mm brake discs on the front axle, gripped by Brembo four-pot calipers.
- Special attention to construction techniques has stripped 16kg of weight compared with the previous-gen Type R, while increasing body rigidity by 45 percent and adding the aforementioned multi-link rear end (the previous model used a torsion beam rear axle). Its centre of gravity is also lowered 10mm while the driver sits 25mm closer to the road thanks to the relocation of the fuel tank to a position under the rear seats.
- Carbonfibre-effect front splitter, rear spoiler, diffuser and side-skirts are not the real deal but save cost, allowing Honda to offer the Type R at about the $50,000 mark.
- Clever aerodynamic features such as a flat underbody, vortex generators and roof spoiler are not just for show and actually generate downforce at speed.
- The Type R’s drivetrain is manual-only and features a limited-slip differential, transmission oil cooling and automatic rev-matching (like a Porsche 911, BMW M3 or Nissan 370Z) for smoother shifts.
- The Type R’s unconventional triple exhaust actually sucks as well as blows. During high engine load, all three pipes increase exhaust flow and sound but at mid-load conditions, the smaller middle pipe draws air in to reduce cabin ‘booming’ for greater occupant comfort.
- Sporty gearknob is machined from solid aluminium, complementing a carbon inlay for the dashboard and red pinstripe cabin theme.