Honda has been delighting sporty compact car fans with an exciting Golf GTI alternative for around 25 years. So here it is, the new Civic Type R. Comfortable and quite powerful at the same time, it will be on the market from the beginning of next year.
Honda has relaunched the Civic Type R. Fans of the compact athlete will have to dig a little deeper into their pockets in the future. While the predecessor was still available for less than 40,000 euros, the basic price of the new model is now 55,500 euros. So the Japanese is no longer a real popular athlete. But with 242 kW/329 hp an athlete. Again a shovel of performance on it, continued stress for the front axle - because it remains with front-wheel drive. In order to be able to bring the power to the road, the engineers gave everything, for example installed a mechanical differential lock.
The good news is that with this concept, the Honda always stays good-natured, even in the wet where traction is really scarce. No sudden thrust from behind to then cause a dangerous swing. The strongest Civic just tugs, it tugs and tugs. When it's dry, not so much on the steering wheel, but on the whole body, in order to bring it up to speed fairly quickly, including the human content. The 5.4 seconds to country road speed is taken from the four-cylinder very well, it goes dramatically forward. The wastegate valve of the turbocharger hisses familiarly, the Honda gives you goosebumps.
And it doesn't just stay with the driven front axle - the huge rear wing is also back. Not because you can brag about it so nicely, but because the sportiest Civic has plans. The Honda Civic Type R is a track tool in continuous everyday mode. In most cases he will stay on the highway. And there you have to find a compromise between travel and racing mode.
The peace offering to passengers who don't quite understand why it has to be a very sporty compact car comes in the form of a fairly comfortable base set-up. In "Comfort" the sharpest Honda rolls smoothly over manhole covers, while the dampers in the two steam modes "Sport" or "R" are immediately tighter. Then the 1.4-tonner devours even ambitious hairpin bends with great appetite, steers precisely with detailed feedback and can hardly be disturbed.
He always acts with a light, supple way. There are no load changes during the shifting process, the lever of the six-speed box, which looks more creamy than bony, engages with exemplary accuracy without even being stubborn in the slightest. And even when disengaging, the speed adjustment eliminates any jerking. Because where there is actually a braking torque when downshifting as a result of the skyrocketing speed, the engine electronics causes the two-liter engine to increase the speed itself.
Decelerating is just as pleasant: the now more effectively cooled discs grip mercilessly when the pedal pressure is even easier to dose. To get the best out of this, the engineers touched the master cylinder again. In order to optimize straight-line stability, the technicians gave the new Type R 3.5 centimeters more wheelbase.
As soon as the daily routine with and in the Civic Type R has settled, infotainment becomes more relevant. Of course, the latest creation comes from the "touchscreen" generation - and therefore there is a deliberately large monitor in the console. It also contains data relevant to the drive such as boost pressure, oil pressure and temperature and, for example, the G forces present. No matter how high they may be, well-pronounced seat shells keep the passengers firmly in the middle lane, even under extreme lateral acceleration.
Without question, the youngest Honda also combines features such as autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, cruise control including adaptive control, blind spot warning and traffic sign recognition under its lightweight body, whose tailgate is made of plastic and the hood is made of aluminum. But this accessory should not matter to most of those interested in the Type R. However, the improvements aimed at higher overall performance are not. It remains to be seen whether customers will pay the high surcharge compared to the predecessor. The old model was also a rarity. If you want a mass car, definitely shop elsewhere.