What is it? The Honda Civic Type R is the latest, most potent version of a performance icon.
Key features: New body and chassis, more power, more versatility.
Our View: The new Honda Civic Type R is a much more complete performance hatch than its predecessor, more potent, but also significantly more practical as a daily driver.
Type of Review: First drive.
Honda Civic Type R – did we not review that quite recently? In fact, it was exactly two years ago. In June 2015, partly on a race track in Slovakia, we attended the launch of the last Civic Type R.
Just 24 months on and we are at staring at another race track, this time the awesome Lausitzring in what was once East Germany, as part of our first experience of an all-new Type R, which arrives in UK showrooms in July.
The reason is, of course, the fact that the mainstream Civic recently underwent its latest regeneration, going on sale in March. And it is a significant change for the model, adopting far more mainstream styling in a bid to increase its share of the market – especially as Honda’s UK plant at Swindon is now the global hub of Civic production.
So it is no surprise that a new Type R is in the mix. But appearing just four months after the mainstream car is almost indecently soon, and perhaps there is another reason. The 2015 Type R was extremely potent, but as an everyday car it could soon become hard work – race definitely ruled over road. With this one, Honda appears to have taken the opportunity to rectify matters, making it more user-friendly a major priority.
Do not think for a minute, however, that the new Type R is watered down. As I will discover in a test that encompasses a challenging race circuit and a legal 150mph on basically a dual carriageway, it’s the most powerful, best-handling version of the car yet.
Next page: Exterior and interior design