International first drive of Honda Civic Type R

Wapcar Automotive News – Anticipation is reaching the point of almost drooling ahead of the arrival of the new Honda Civic Type R. We’ll have to wait a little longer to tell you what an Australian-market car looks like, but Drive has managed to figure it out. put. an American car in America. The good news is, based on his experience in the Midwest, he looks set to go straight to the top of his class. Honda Civic Type R colors are also an important factor.

The new-generation FL5 is closely related to the upcoming FK8, with the most obvious similarity being the continued use of the same Ohio-built 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. Honda cites different power outputs in different markets, this is due to different fuel quality and emissions standards, with the US car being considered as good with the same 235kW that we will receive in Australia. The Japanese version has 243 kW, and in Europe Honda says the Type R will have 241 kW. All markets have a peak torque of 420 Nm.

Power is sent to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential, and the FL5 also uses its predecessor’s innovative dual-axle suspension to help combat torque while driving. in narrow bends. Other spec changes are all minor. The FL5 Type R is 35mm longer, 25kg heavier – this is based on US figures – and Honda claims the body structure is now 15% stiffer. Nothing radical, it’s an evolution, not a revolution.

More significant are the stylistic changes. While subtle isn’t the right word for a car whose rear spoiler is considered too big for most saloon racing championships, the new Type R is a much smoother design than a human. Predecessor. It becomes more mature, losing the animation details of previous versions.

The fake vents and plastic surrounds are gone, and the front bumper vents are now working properly, with vents on the sides that will direct more cooling air to the front brake. The roof vents improve airflow through the radiator, and the narrow gaps behind the front wheel arches help reduce air pressure in the wheel arches.

Don’t worry, no one will mistake this Type R for a regular Civic. Under the rear wing XL is still sporty with three rows of exhaust pipes in the middle of the bumper, large 19-inch wheels and large brake discs; the ones at the front are definitely 350 mm in diameter. As a Type R, it also has the right to wear the red Honda badge.

The interior is both more traditional and more modern than the last Type R. The US spec car I’m driving has a very Japanese combination of white exterior with red seats and carpet, these give a party under the usual dark plastic of the high Civic than in the cabin.

While most of the architecture is obviously akin to the consumer version, the Type R features a redesigned center console that both ensures that the aluminum circular gear lever is in the optimal position, has integrated dynamic mode selector for Comfort, Sport and Personal modes. dynamic parameters. And a +R button puts all functions in their most active mode.

There’s a 9.0-inch central display for the infotainment, as well as a separate display of the digital instrument package behind the steering wheel; this reconfiguration in a motorsport style when +R is selected. Honda always places a row of extremely bright LED gearshift lights above the digital clock face instead of displaying them.

Anyone who has driven the FK8 Type R will find the FL5 instantly familiar. It has the same lightning-fast steering, now just 2.1 turns between locks, the same nice gearshifts, and a light but relatively painful clutch pedal.

Even at light speeds there are obvious changes, with a lighter flywheel that improves low-rpm response and helps the engine shift into new gears faster. Pushing a little harder also reveals a surprise, with a warning chime sounding when the engine nears the red line to activate the gearshift. Given that the K20C1 engine hardly lacks the angry sound, plus the additional warning given by the gearshift light, that seems redundant.

At low speeds, the power steering feels a bit too light, but the addition of speed and chassis load improves that. The sense of certainty improves as the front wheels attempt to provide both cornering and traction at the same time, with the steering wheel twisting and swaying as the differential seeks grip.

But it only stops in the old-fashioned torque-drive mode and only in the tightest corners or full throttle on bad surfaces does the front axle lock. Thanks to the limited-slip differential, it also combats understeer, with Pilot Sport 4S tires providing great grip even on wet surfaces.

Despite the great grip, there are still plenty of games in the chassis. Even in the gentlest Comfort mode, the Type R gives impressive throttle control, with the rear of the car tightening gradually when the accelerator is released, or more suddenly if the throttle is closed. But he’s also pleased with a more direct approach, slamming on the brakes at the top of a corner, lightening the rear as the weight shifts forward, then pressing the accelerator hard when the exit aligns.

Rest assured, Type R is unaffected by perfection. The American car’s adaptive dampers feel too stiff in more aggressive dynamic modes. The Sport is tolerable when hitting a bumpy road at high speed, but the +R is too solid – even giving it a Formula 1-style “surfing” feel.

The lightest comfort actually feels much better in the face of the real world, combining compliance with a consistently impressive level of body control. I suspect most US buyers would use the programmable “Personal” to combine a more powerful powertrain with a softer chassis. The spin matching feature that tries to mix down numbers also feels a bit silly and is quickly disabled. It would be more fun to do it yourself.

There weren’t many flaws with the previous Civic Type R, but at first glance, the car seems to have been subtly improved in most of these areas – and beyond.

The hardest thing to swallow for Australian buyers will be the size of the premium Honda that seems determined to surpass the old car’s starting price of $72,600 – and that falls within the brand’s ‘non-negotiable’ strategy . It’s obviously a good car, but is it really $20,000 more expensive than a Hyundai i30 N sedan? We can’t wait to bring them together to find out.

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