Editor: Jason “The Bok” – Date: 30 Sept 2016
When you think of Honda, you sometimes think that Honda mostly makes toned down sensible automobiles suitable for your granny, but this certainly is not the case when you think Civic and especially not the case, when you think Type R.
The badge Type R was born back in 1992, inspired by Honda’s legendary F1 performance team, Type R stood to represent a birthmark of performance. The very first Type R inspired vehicle ever made, was the NSX-R, and this proved to be such a success for Honda, that they spawned a new range of elite sports-tuned automobiles.
Only four Honda cars have ever adorned the infamous “Type R” insignia, the NSX ; Accord ; Integra and the Civic, so let’s now take a look at the most brutal Civic ever made, lets take a look at the all-new Type R.
The heart of the beast
The Type R engine sends all of its power through the vehicle’s front wheels, and when I say all of its power, I am talking about 228 kW of power and 400 Nm of torque. This is a monumental amount of power, but somehow despite being on the edge, the Honda manages to stay pretty well composed and sticks to a road surface like hot glue.
It is incredible to think that the honda engineers have managed to push so much power through this super hot hatch,while keeping it composed. It has enough grip to handle sharp bends and bumps on the road, and the end result, is that the Type R set the quickest front-wheel drive vehicle lap record around the Nürburgring proving track in Germany when it was raced along this technical track.
It is all very well developing a massively powerful engine, but what about the body?
If you take something like for example a Volkswagen Polo Vivo, which belongs to a boy racer, you’ll note that it has a wing or wide flared arches, and I am not convinced that these are really a requirement. With the Type R however, the body has a wealth of design slashes, air-intakes, gills, and arches. These are definitely a requirement here, as is the large ironing board inspired spoiler over the rear wheels, which keeps the Type R planted on the road.
Owing to its mass of downforce, the Type R remains incredibly well planted to the road, no matter the surface, and despite some torque steer, when the wave of power comes in from the turbo, the Type R remains very well composed and planted as you push its mass of power through the front wheels.
Is it a practical option?
It definitely is not impractical in anyway! The Civic Type R follows largely the same ethos of a conventional Honda Civic family hatch. What I mean by this, is that Honda have managed to retain the practicality of a family orientated hatch-back. You can still easily load tons of luggage into the boot, you have a generously spaced cabin, for both front and rear passengers, and should the mood take you, the entire family guise which it will wear, can turn into an aggressive sporting pocket rocket.
In terms of media and entertainment, the Civic Type R also features an Android-based media system, which allows multimedia to be delivered through a multitude of sources including; USB, Bluetooth streaming, and even an HDMI socket. You can, therefore, cruise along listening to your favourite easy listening tunes or blast the heavy metal, when the road opens up.
Summing it all up
It is difficult to do anything other than admire what Honda have achieved with this latest generation Civic Type R. Honda have managed to package all the pro’s of a sensible family hatchback into a body which looks more at home flying around the corners of a race track, then cruising the streets. With a wing the width of Arizona planting the Type R to the ground, you are able to achieve a 0 – 100 Km/h sprint in just 5.7 seconds.
What is perhaps the most impressive part of the whole package, is the sense of occasion which is invoked every time you fire the engine to life and take the Type R for a drive around your favourite bit of winding asphalt spaghetti. It is times like these when you really appreciate the true greatness of the Type R.
The all-new Civic Type R is the first Honda to benefit from Honda South Africa’s 5-year/200,000km manufacturer warranty and costs R615,900. Despite not being cheap, it sits within the price bracket of the super hot hatch market and gives you the added benefit to be amongst an elite group of drivers, who have the satisfaction of driving a Type R and this is hard to put a price on.
Take a glance at what driving the Civic Type R feels like by watching the below video: