After leaked photos showing the front and rear of the car, the new 2017 Honda Civic Type R has been unveiled. The Japanese hot hatch keeps many of the outgoing model‘s go-faster parts, but which have been retuned to provide an even more hardcore driving experience.
As we’ve seen in the initial photos, the new Type R looks identical to the prototype shown in Paris last year, save for the novel brushed metal-esque paint. Compared to the already aggressive-looking standard Civic hatch, the Type R gets even larger air intakes, a front splitter and a bonnet-mounted air intake, so it’s not exactly something you’ll want to see hogging your rear-view mirror.
Other telltale cues include pumped up wheel arches, front fender vents, a massive rear diffuser (with Ferrari 458 Italia-style triple centre-exit exhausts) and the obligatory goalpost rear wing. The wheels are an inch larger than the previous Type R at 20 inches, and hide sizeable Brembo brakes.
Honda says that with a smoother underbody, front air curtains and vortex generators on the roof, the new Type R has a more complete aerodynamic package compared to the outgoing model. It also claims that the car has a best-in-class balance between lift and drag, contributing to greater high speed stability.
Seeing as the previous model had only been on sale for two years before being replaced, it’s no surprise that the new Type R features the same 2.0 litre VTEC Turbo four-cylinder engine. However, the mill has been breathed on to produce 10 PS more, at 320 PS; peak torque remains at an even 400 Nm. The six-speed manual transmission has also been retained, but has been augmented with a new rev-matching function.
The switch to the new Civic hatch body means that the new Type R now takes advantage of an independent multi-link rear suspension rather than the old car’s torsion beam setup, with unique high-rigidity suspension arms. The MacPherson strut front suspension has been retained, but with new geometry compared to the cooking variants to minimise torque steer and improve handling.
The new body is also stiffer and lighter, and Honda has added adhesive in key areas; all in all, torsional rigidity has been increased by as much as 38% compared to the outgoing model. Elsewhere, there’s a new Comfort driving mode in addition to the previous Sport and track-focused +R modes, each one adapting the adaptive dampers, steering force, gearshift feeling and throttle response to suit.
Built in Swindon, United Kingdom, the new Honda Civic Type R will go on sale in the summer, and will be exported across Europe and to other markets around the world, including Japan and the United States – the arrival of the car in America would mark the first time a Type R-badged product has been officially sold there.