Ever since Honda launched the new Civic, enthusiasts have been waiting for the new generation of the hottest Civic – the Type R. The waiting is over as the all-new Civic Type R has appeared in showrooms in Japan.

The all-new Civic Type R comes equipped with a high-performance 2.0-litre non-turbo 4-cylinder engine matched to a 6-speed manual transmission. A lighter, more rigid bodyshell, specially tuned suspension, 18-inch tyres and large 17-inch front disc brakes are among the major differences from the standard Civic 2.0 which allow it to push the performance envelope.

The exterior employs a pure sports ‘one-motion form’ design with aerodynamically advanced surface treatment and sharp edges. Newly-developed aerodynamic features include a large air intake in the front bumper and grille, a rear bumper with built-in rear diffuser, a prominent high-mounted rear spoiler, and extended side sill garnishes, giving the car an aggressive overall appearance.

Additionally, there are specifically designed engine bonnet and front fenders, an exclusive shiny black chromed front grille bar, headlight sub-reflector and Civic emblem design and of course, a distinctive ‘Type R’ red Honda emblem front and rear.

The overall black colour scheme chosen gives the interior cockpit a racing car-like appearance. The front bucket seats are specially designed for Type R and feature separate centre/side construction with high side bolsters and optimized cushion rates help hold the body in place during spirited cornering.

The multiplex i-VTEC tachometer has an indicator which alerts the driver that engine speed is approaching maximum rpm. Self-illuminated, lit with red-coloured flashing lights are strategically located for minimum eye movement in circuit and other high speed driving conditions.

Other performance-oriented features include a small-diameter, genuine leather oval steering wheel, an aluminium ball-type shift knob, a short stroke sports shift linkage, metal sports-type pedals and footrest, and a separate, button-type engine starter.

A higher compression ratio and improved breathing efficiency help the naturally-aspirated K20A engine develop a maximum output of 165kW (225 ps) at 8000 rpm and maximum torque of 215 Nm at 6100 rpm. Applying lessons learnt in making the NSX, the engine has smoother port surfacing, improving intake/exhaust airflow. Drive-By-Wire (DBW) provides for finer tuning of throttle response and power output. Optimum tuning of intake and exhaust manifolds provides for high output at high engine speed while also improving torque characteristics over a broad engine speed range.

A close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission is standard and has optimized gear ratios for superior accelerations at high speeds, providing exhilarating performance. New features include a highly rigid aluminium transmission case while the addition of a baffle plate helps mitigate oil starvation at high cornering speeds. A short stroke shift linkage contributes to a sporty shifting feel.

The highly rigid Civic body and its advanced layout serves as the basis for an even more highly rigid, yet lightweight Type R body. Measures to enhance body rigidity while reducing weight have translated into a body that is 50% more rigid than in the Integra Type R production model sold between 2001 and 2006.

Specially tuned suspension, high performance 18-inch tyres, a torque-sensitive helical LSD, large disc brakes for improved fade resistance and other performance-enhancing features contribute to higher cornering performance and stability for an exciting, racecar-like driving experience. The specially tuned suspension is said to have revised spring and damping rates, and thicker stabilizer bars for improved vehicle stability. Factory fitted tyres are 225/40R18 Bridgestone Potenza RE070s while the disc brakes are 4-pot aluminium Brembos. The ABS/EBD system has been tuned for the higher performance.

Honda’s GCON (G-force Control) technology is incorporated to create a body with a crash safety performance that is claimed to be among the best in the world, withstanding a 55 km/h full-frontal collision, a 64 km/h front offset collision, a 55 km/h side collision, and a 50 km/h rear collision. The vehicle’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering body provides a high level of self-protection and also improves compatibility toward other vehicles. It is also designed to help mitigate pedestrian injury in the event of a collision thanks to the use of impact-absorbing structures.

Type R models, which have been available since the early 1990s, are specially tuned versions that extend the performance of the standard model and typically provide a racing car-like driving feel. First offered on the NSX in 1992, the Type R range was extended to the Integra in 1995, and the Civic in 1997. This latest all-new Civic Type R is said to be the distillation of 15 years of technological progress and the latest expression of Honda’s “Challenging Spirit.”

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