First Look on The New Civic Type-R

First Look on The New Civic Type-R

Our first glimpse on the all-new Civic Type R, which promises bigger numbers than ever before.

Since its introduction in 1997 with the fan favourite EK9 generation, The Honda Civic Type-R has been a respectable hot hatch option that combined practicality with speed. For decades, the Type-R evolved considerably both performance and appearance wise, with some generations like the FN2 being criticised for having less responsive handling than its predecessors. Now, though, we have our newest contender for the bleeding hot hatch market. The new Civic Type-R is set to be produced and sold next year, but Honda already leaked a few information about their next rapid hatch. Let’s dive right into it, gather what we know so far, compare it to its predecessors and its rivals to see how good the new Type-R is.

The new Civic Type-R retains the triple exhausts and the big wing from the last generation.

New, fresh exterior with spiced up Type-R touches.

The new Type-R is based on the latest generation Civic Hatchback, codenamed FL5. The design of the new FL5 Civic caused a controversy among the enthusiasts as some of them thought that the design was too simple or bland whereas the others praised Honda for not going on the huge front grille route like many other brands are going for nowadays. The Type-R perfectly adds the sporty spices to the hatchback, however, unlike the previous generation FK8 Type-R, it certainly does not overdo the sporting credentials. The new Type-R still retains most of the ”I am the fast one” features like the triple exhausts, spikey diffusers and the big wing, not to mention the 20-inch rims that complete the hot looks.

Just like the last two generations of the Type-R, the new one is a five-door hatchback which adds further practicality in the hot pocket rocket, but it kind of throws the ”pocket” factor of it away by retaining the rear doors. It does not spoil the looks, though, and the distinctive white paintjob combined with the red badge, black rims, wing and door mirrors still remind you of what it is, a fast Civic designed to do what it’s designed to do for two decades, be fast and be practical. So, the new Civic Type-R is an adequate success when it comes to its design, maybe even better than the FK8 generation, but does it have the grunt to match the looks?

The record breaking preproduction model proves a better performance.

The actual performance specifications of the new Type-R hasn’t been published by Honda yet, but it wouldn’t hurt to make estimations. The new one still retains the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine from the previous generation Type-R which produced 306 HP and 400 NM, but the new generation will surely have more power and punch, my estimates are around 340-350 HP and over 400 NM, though Honda tends to underestimate the concept of upgrading power of the new generation models. Remember when the third FN2 generation only had 1 more HP than the acclaimed nimble second EP3 generation? It was definitely the worst downside of the third generation, but thankfully, the Honda engineers somehow got their common sense back on the fourth FK2 generation which had 108 HP more than the previous one. Let’s hope that they’ll give the new Type-R what it deserves this time as well.

The fifth generation Type-R had a top speed of 272 km/h (169 mph) and a 0 to 60 time of 5.7 seconds, which made it the fastest Type-R to date and allowed it to break a Nürburgring record with a lap time of 7:43.80, a massive 7 seconds faster than the fourth generation, setting a record for the front-wheel drive cars until the Renault Megane RS Trophy-R came along. So, considering the success and the promising figures of the last generation, the new Type-R might accelerate from 0 to 60 in around 5.3 seconds or even less and have a top speed over 275 km/h (170 mph) but of course, these estimations might just be nearly accurate as the preproduction model broke a lap record for front-wheel drive cars on Suzuka Circuit with a quite respectable lap time of 2:23.120, proving the extra zing of Honda’s new creation.

A less edgy, more mature interior matches the simpler exterior.

A packed, sporty interior that shines with the manual transmission.

The new Type-R is just as looker inside. The red seats and floor pops up so nicely with the black contrast of the rest of the interior. The new interior is also noticeably more minimalist than the previous generation FK8 interior as it features less edges around the dashboard and less red lining especially on the steering wheel. It certainly gives the impression that the Type-R has ”matured” but still retains the wild personality it always had in a more conservative way. The centre console features a big useful bin and two cupholders, and above the glove box, a shiny Type-R logo will remind the driver and the passenger what they’re riding in, which is a nice little touch. New Type-R owners will also notice the new and bigger 9.0-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system which will most likely feature everything the last generation infotainment offered like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as wireless charging and Wi-Fi hotspot system which will likely operate with a subscription system. Besides the infotainment, the digital gauge cluster and physical climate controls are what’s retained from the previous generation model.

The pièce de résistance of the interior, or possibly the whole model itself, is the manual transmission which is certainly an almost extinct feature in today’s motoring world. The 6-speed manual gearbox still offers the iconic Type-R thrills which aims to provide the drivers the most engaging and fun driving session possible which could almost rival the engaging feel of the original NSX, albeit with a little more electric feel. Besides the fun factor, considering how its main rivals like the Golf R and Focus RS also retains the manual transmission, it certainly doesn’t fall behind on the most important factor of a hot hatch that has been the main recipe of the segment for decades.

Pricing & Comparison to its main rivals

The new Civic Type-R is expected to go on sale under $40,000, though Honda is yet to confirm the actual price. Considering how the previous gen Type-R was sold around $35,000 (£30,500), the new one shouldn’t exceed the previous pricing too much. To compare it with its main rivals, especially the new Golf R with its $45,090 (£37,369) price tag, the new Type-R will most likely be a cheaper option, but it’s important to remember that the Golf R is a fast AWD wagon unlike the Golf GTI, which costs $31,275 (£25.920) though the FWD model has much less power than its AWD version and the new Type-R. Therefore, the Golf R will be a slightly more expensive but more packed option than the Type-R especially with its AWD system. Its other rivals like the A35 AMG cost much more than the Civic, around £41,540, but the 4MATIC+ system of Merc’s hot hatch also justify the prices a little. So our final verdict is that the new Type-R is a viable option for a hot hatch enthusiast, and it’ll probably feel more engaging than most of its rivals which are packed with automatic transmission and thousands of gizmos.

Overall, the new Civic Type-R seems promising, and we hope that it can continue the spark that Honda created two decades ago with the EK9, and carried it since. This isn’t the end of our review, though, whenever Honda drops the final specifications, we’ll immediately publish whatever we know about the new contender for the hot hatch market.