Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 03 May 2018
( Image Credits – Warren Harry Wilson – https://www.facebook.com/warrnwilsn )
The word GENIUS can best be described as a culmination of brilliance with a touch of mad. It can also best sum up the 2018 comic superhero styled Honda Civic Type R.
Lauded for years in the JDM (Japanese motorsport) circles and with hot hatch purists, the Type R represents not just simply a hot hatchback but more a way of life and a culture in which to live by. Type R represents petrolhead hot hatchback heaven, but like any genius, the brilliance has a mad side.
As if it has been dropped out of a Sega arcade game, the 2018 Civic Type R has more fins, rear diffusers and spoilers than Sonic The Hedgehog and sits perched not far above the tarmac on its racing slick alloys and with its large blackened alloy wheels.
Much like its creased lines, moody grey body paint and rear wing and wide as the open Karoo, the Type R is styled to look as serious and track focussed as possible, but also possess enough qualities to keep you laughing and smiling. It is the kind of body language that either will grab you or repel you within the first 5 seconds of seeing it.
Not Comic Performance
Where the image its body style portrays is up for some debate, what certainly is not, is the way in which it handles the tar. There are certainly faster and more popular choice hot hatches out there, the Golf R and Renault Megane RS springs to mind, for instance, you will be hard-pressed to find a hot hatch which handles the corner better than the new Type R.
About this time a year ago, I drove its predecessor. While I loved its handling, its ride on the road was very hard and jarring while on the road. With the latest-generation, the ride is much more forgiving, yet it still manages spoon bending cornering thanks to a clever independent based rear-end and chassis witchcraft. The Honda engineers have managed to pull off near impossible levels of grip and road holding satisfaction which almost mimics all-wheel drive, despite the Honda driving all of its power through its front wheels.
The Type R is capable of achieving the 0 – 100 km/h sprint in below 6 seconds. With its Earth Dreams 2.0-litre turbopetrol four-cylinder motor it develops 228 kW and 400 Nm of torque. The engine is not quite as loud and shouty as some of its competitors, neither is it quite as quick, however, the Honda is much more about pure handling and track-bending performance than just straight-line speed.
Coupling with its dampening magic, all the power of the Type R is mated through its racing style short-shift ratio 6-speed manual gearbox. The entire experience is completed with the Type R wash of red and black and its deep racing bucket seats which are both supportive and comfortable at the same time.
The interior is in keeping with the modern day Civic and features the likes of Apple Carplay, Android Auto ability and full-on navigation all through its touchscreen multimedia system. The system works, but can be a bit counter-intuitive to operate while on the fly, like most fully touch-based systems.
Like the title, the Type R combines brilliance with a touch of madness. Its over the top styling couples with its practical elements and its pure track focussed aggressive handling couples with its somewhat toned down sound and power when compared to some of its competitors. The truth is that none of it really matters because the Civic Type R will appeal to that motoring enthusiast who understands just why “Type R” is more of a culture than just another powerful hatchback.
SA Pricing & Warranty
The Civic Type R is backed by Honda’s firm reputation for reliability and comes with a very impressive 5-year/200,000 km Warranty and 5-year/90,000 km Service Plan