The all-new 2018 Honda Civic Type R hatchback will go toe-to-toe with big name speedsters in the small car segment when it arrives in October, priced from $50,990 plus on-road costs.
The new-generation Honda Civic Type R model packs in a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine with a massive 228kW of power and 400Nm of torque, and while the rest of the the Civic hatch range may come only with a CVT automatic, this bad boy is only available with a six-speed manual and front-wheel drive.
The comprehensively equipped Civic Type R model is highly specified, with big ticket items such as adaptive dampers, 20-inch wheels, Brembo brakes and the Honda Sensing safety suite of active intervention tech all standard.
The fifth-generation model is only available in one trim, at that $50,990 price point, putting it bang on the cash against rivals like the Ford Focus RS (also manual-only, but with all-wheel-drive: $50,990), while undercutting the updated Volkswagen Golf R in 7.5 guise ($52,990 in manual, with the option of an auto that the others can’t match, and in AWD).
Honda Australia says there are more than 250 orders already held for the Type R, while a further 5000 pre-registrations (‘contact me when it arrives’) are on the books – and according to the brand’s local director, Stephen Collins, there’s good reason for the excitement.
“Type R is the ultimate expression of Honda putting the enthusiast at the centre of everything it does. So it was very important for Honda Australia to bring the famed Type R name back with the all-new Civic Type R,” Collins said.
“As a record-holder around the Nürburgring Nordschleife, it’s clearly the fastest, most dynamic Type R model ever sold in Australia. Enthusiasts across the country are going to absolutely love it.”
This isn’t just the regular Civic tarted up: it’s not built in Thailand, for one, with all Type R models coming from the UK, and with plenty of changes under the skin.
MORE: Civic Type R DRIVEN
For instance, there are distinct spring, damper and bushing rates for the suspension, not to mention new suspension hardware in the form of a Dual-Axis front-end with aluminium lower arms and steering knuckles “for improved at-the-limit cornering and reduced torque steer” – the helical limited-slip front differential should help out, too. The multi-link rear suspension “enhances stability under braking”, the brand claims.
The steering is an adaptive dual-pinion electric system with a variable gear ratio, and the Civic Type R has three drive modes to choose from: Comfort, Sport and R+, with changes to steering and throttle response, transmission rev-matching and the stability control system, not to mention those standard-fit adaptive dampers.
Because it’s fast, the Brembo brakes (350 mm ventilated and drilled discs with four-piston calipers up front, 305mm rear solid discs) should help pull it up, but there’s also autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, a rear-view camera, parking sensors front and rear, and the brand’s LaneWatch camera system, which gives you a glance of what’s behind you in the car’s media screen.
There’s no integrated satellite navigation, but the inclusion of Android Auto and Apple Carplay means sat-nav can be loaded through those respective platforms.
Other features include keyless entry and push-button start, and Type R-specific sports seats and interior trim details, and a four-seat layout, rather than the regular five-seat arrangement. Check out the full spec list below.
As for colours available, the “hero colour” for the Type R is Championship White premium paint, however, customers will also have the choice of Rally Red (flat), Crystal Black or Sonic Grey (pearlescent) and Brilliant Sporty Blue (metallic). Only the red doesn’t attract a $575 paint fee.