Honda Civic Type R
evo Singapore|Vol 76 - May-Jun 2017

Honda dragged its feet with the previous-generation Civic Type R. This time we’re getting one almost from the get-go, but how much has changed?

Adam Towler

WHITE PAINT, BLACK DETAILING, red logos and easily the wildest body addenda in the hot hatch market. No, you don’t need me to tell you this is the all-new Honda Civic Type R.

And normally I’d leave it at that and let you make up your own mind on the looks. But not this time. The ungainly, slab-sided proportions and tacked-on aero of the old car made it highly divisive, and for many it was all a bit cringe-worthy. Having had the benefit of walking around the new car, I believe that’s no longer the case. Yes, it’s still a riot of slashed lines, Manga-influenced forms and bonkers aero – Honda once again claims a class-leading balance between reducing lift and creating drag – and the deep chin, vortex generators on the trailing edge of the roof and the massive rear wing will still make a Golf R owner blush, but it’s all so much lower, meaner and more cohesive.

It might have crossed your mind that the outgoing Civic Type R wasn’t on sale for very long, and you’d be right. The go-ahead for that car didn’t come until well into the production cycle for its generation of Civic, and the engineers on the project had to make the best of what they were given. This included an almost MPV-like form and a torsion-beam rear-suspension setup. As we’ve already explained, the all-new Civic is a much lower, stiffer structure from which to work from, and the provision for a Type R model was not only in the plan from the start, but also influenced key decisions throughout the standard car’s gestation.

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