Posted on May 21, 2018
Date of Release: January 2018
Number of Reviews 1
With its adventurous styling, class-leading engine technology and inspiring reputation for performance, the Honda Civic Type-R is the embodiment of progressive design.
In terms of styling, this performance hatch is distinctively bold and sleek-looking. Defined by sharp lines, a mean front façade with a twin-split grille and 20-inch gloss black alloys, the Type-R has a futuristic appeal about it.
Step inside the well-appointed cabin and you’ll find a judicious combination of style, luxury and smart ergonomics.
If you’ve ever driven a Type-R then you’ll know that its source for exhilaration comes from under the bonnet. Awakened by a potent 2.0-litre VTEC turbo engine mated with a six-speed manual transmission. Although the Type-R’s ride quality is smooth when driving through the metropolitan – the open freeway is where it feels most at home.
Despite the fact that the sum of this performance hatch is it’s blistering performance, an extensive list of safety and security features means that you’re well looked after. Standard equipment includes: seven airbags, Honda Sensing safety suite, reverse camera, ABS and VSA Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
Date reviewed: 2018-02-22 12:00:00
Hot hatches – based on the number of passionate fans alone, one could argue that these little monsters have carved out one of the most successful motoring segments of all time. But what made them so successful? In our minds, a couple of keywords standout. A 2l engine, a manual gearbox and pushing the envelope in terms of what a front, two-wheel drive system can handle. Whilst many of today’s “super hatch” favourites incorporate one or two of those factors, there are only two seriously fast cars that still opt for a FWD (front-wheel-drive) system: the Renault Megane RS and the car in question, a Honda Civic Type-R. And, before you shout at us on Facebook, saying what about the GTI, for us, that is superseded its bigger, all-wheel drive brother, the 7R.
Considering that the Megane RS sends its power via a semi-automatic, dual clutch gearbox, that leaves us with one car that remains true to the old secret formula. And what a formula that is! Serve that up with today’s latest, cutting-edge, drive-train and engine technology and what you get is a world-class driver’s car.
Honda SA recently launched this hot hatch icon along South Africa’s beautiful South Coast, a highlight of which was a stint at Dezzi Raceway, led by SA motorsport champ, Deon Joubert. Many of you would have already seen new Type R pics on the internet, but trust us on this, there’s nothing quite like seeing it in the flesh. This car has presence! It’s one of those rare cars you can circle 4 times, and still discover new styling aspects each time. In terms of exterior styling, it’s arguably SA’s LOUDEST car – awesome for some, too much for others. But before you decide which side of the fence you’re on, go and see it!
In the meantime, here’s something to wet your lips… A few of the many, many exterior styling highlights include:
Love it? Hate it? Before you decide, see the car in the flesh. Available in 6 colours, the traditional flagship colour of the Type R is Honda’s ‘Championship White’, but our favourites were definitely the ‘Polished Metal’ and ‘Sonic Grey’ colours.
The dramatic racing feel continues on the inside but surprisingly, there’s a good dose of practicality too! Interior styling highlights include:
Whilst we think the comfort mode is a great addition, let be honest, the primary reason you buy a car like this is that you’re a fan! You want a vehicle that you can push, a vehicle that challenges your driving limits, yet, does so in a safe manner. You want a serious hot hatch! And that’s exactly the experience the new Type R gives you.
It’s amazing to see how quickly the speedo climbs thanks to the high-revving, 228kW / 400Nm 2l turbo-petrol engine. The first three gears are quite short, with 3rd gear topping out at around the 130Km/h mark. The fourth gear then pulls like nothing else, getting you up to speeds you should never really be going in a manner quicker than you can believe. Just think, there’s another two gears to go – if you dare! 0 – 100Km/h takes just 5.8 seconds! Top speed (according to Honda) is an eye-watering 272Km/h.
As awesome as the performance is, what really impressed us the most was the handling! Unbelievable! Saying we were in complete control of the car feels like a bit of an understatement. We’ve never experienced a limited slip diff quite like the one in the Type R. You quickly forget you are operating a two-wheel drive car. The speed you can carry through the corners thanks to its new hardened chassis and improved suspension is really impressive. Even if you get it a bit wrong and start to lose momentum, the Type R allows you to put the power back down so much earlier than you normally would (during the corner exit phase), meaning you can still power out of the corner without having to worry you are going to understeer wide. Slowing down is just a fun thanks to the Type R’s rev-matching technology – just focus on the brake, clutch and the fast approaching corner, and you’ll hear that 2l engine pipping nicely in the background. Trust us when we say this car is right at home on the track. We love the racing aids too, particularly the optimal gear change LED’s on the speedo.
A great launch indeed – thanks Honda SA! That said, let’s see how this “cult-like” car matches up to our hatchback lifestyle judging criteria:
So how much does this beast cost? The all-new Honda Civic Type R will set you back R627k, which includes an impressive 5-year/200,000Km warranty + 5-year/90,000Km service plan as well as a complimentary 3-year AA roadside assistance package. That’s cheaper than a VW Golf R and we advise you not to compare this price with the starting price of the Golf R (R647,300) as you will almost never buy a VW at its starting price. These two cars are at either end of the hot hatch spectrum. The one, understated with blistering performance. The other, loud, very loud, incredibly quick in a myriad of conditions and most importantly, totally engaging! It’s like Honda themselves say – are you Type R? This car will either suit you or it won’t. But it’s hard to argue against that winning formula we mentioned at the beginning of our review. Know this, if you do buy the Type R, you are getting a car that is leaps and bounds better than any Type R before it. It’s the very best of what Japanese motorsport passion can produce.
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