Pricey, but the Type R delivers in spades
Where fire-breathing performance meets everyday practicality, Honda's new Type R stands as a legendary contender.
The latest version is the fastest and sleekest to date and its launch marked 25 years of the iconic high-performance hatchback.
It has been engineered to deliver a stonking 329bhp from the two litre engine.
It also delivers everyday hatchback practicality with a total stowage space of 1,212 litres available.
That is a bonus to the rip-roaring performance delivered through a combination of lightweight components and increased power making it one of the highest power-to-weight ratios in its class, says Honda.
It also delivers a hefty price tag, pushing £50k for this model, so it needs to be worth it. But for the money you get technological wizardry, a sackful of goodies, bell sand whistles and a truly exhilarating drive.
It certainly looks the part. All angular edges and creases, red accents, with an imposing new spoiler, the familiar signature triple exhaust is retained as are red Brembo brakes, revised front bumper, slim LED headlights flanking a slim, honeycomb grille.
The interior, or cockpit, features a flat-bottomed, multifunction sports steering wheel with red stitching complementing the black leather trim on the red sports bucket seats, while the honeycombing effect of the grille is repeated along the dash.
The seven-inch Honda CONNECT touchscreen controls major functions like navigation, climate, connectivity, and infotainment, while a TFT screen behind the steering wheel provides instant driver information, the customisable screen offers readouts from economy mode to sport.
There are three drive modes of Comfort, Sport and track-focused +R mode for the most extreme performance, which can be monitored on the simple dual-meter display.
Despite its track-inspired pedigree, the interior is reasonably spacious and the rear seat splits 60/40 to expand the boot space.
Practical it may be, but this is all about what lurks under the bonnet, waiting to be unleashed. The power from the two litre turbo VTEC engine is delivered to the front wheels via the stubby but precise gear change, that powers the vehicle to 60mph in a shade over five seconds.
This is complemented by the exhaust with a newly designed triple-exit backbox which enhances the engine roar under acceleration.
Blistering performance and it has the handling to cope with all of the power with a a more rigid body. In addition, the suspension has been designed for performance from chassis, steering, and suspension, while the wide, low profile 19-inch tyres offer amazing grip on bends and tight corners.
It feels so well planted that there really is a temptation to overdo it. Luckily resisted by your driver. You also have to be able to stop it quickly and the latest Brembo braking system prove amazing effective when jamming on the anchors.
For the type of car, economy and emissions are also pretty good, with a claimed 34.4mpg and lowish emissions of 186g/km.
For those tempted to overdo it, safety kit is comprehensive with traction and stability control keeping things stable while there a now extra airbags and a host of active and passive safety measures, for drivers, occupants and pedestrians.
Without doubt, the best yet, but they have all been excellent.
Honda Civic Type R
Engine: 329bhp, 1,996cc, 4cyl turbocharged petrol engine, driving front wheels, via a 6-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 171mph
0-60mph: 5.4 seconds
Combined mpg: 34.4
Insurance Group: 38
CO2 Emissions: 186g/km
Warranty: 3 years/90,000 miles