Exterior and Interior
According to Honda, the new Type R was developed alongside the standard Civic, demonstrating how important the model has become to the brand – those that make jokes about Hondas appealing to the ‘older’ set forget that company founder Soichiro Honda was first and foremost a racer.
The car is longer and lower than its predecessor, while its styling makes the car look wider even though it’s not. A lower centre of gravity helps too, and a driving position closer to the road. It sits on a new platform, which saves 16kg of weight while improving torsional stiffness by 37% – better for safety, much better for handling…
Aerodynamics have assumed their greatest importance yet on the new model. The underbody is smoother, while the specification includes phrases such as ‘air curtain’ and ‘vortex generators’ – the kind of thing you hear more often when talking about new race cars. We are promised such measures make the new car the most stable Type R at high speed yet, while other measures include the front splitter, sculpted air intakes, wheels enlarged to 20 inches, even a bonnet in aluminium because that saves 5.3kg over the steel version on the stock Civic.
Inside is pure Type R, a riot of suede-effect fabric in the signature red and black. The seats might be the lightest ever fitted but they still hold you firmly yet comfortably, and make you feel like you are in a performance car.
The dash is a big improvement – the display is still digital, but no longer something akin to a science-fiction spaceship. It is also no longer in two pieces, the pod sitting atop the fascia has gone which is an excellent move. In the old car, one had to choose either to partially block the view of this pod or the main display with the steering wheel.
And of course this is still a Civic, so benefits from the increased interior room provided by the new design, both in front and rear. All of which helps justify the car as a purchase for daily driving – as a passenger, you no longer feel like the car really doesn’t want you there, as you did in the 2015 Type R.
Next page: Powertrain and chassis