Honda Civic Type R FL5 (2022-present)

Introduction:

Honda debuted the sixth generation of its Civic Type R in July 2022 for the 2023 model year, igniting excitement in the hot-hatch segment once again.

Legacy of the Type R Moniker:

With a rich history spanning over 25 years, the Type R moniker has consistently epitomized a performance vehicle disguised in everyday attire. Renowned for its versatility, the Type R seamlessly transitions from mundane tasks like school runs and shopping trips to exhilarating track experiences.

Innovations of the Sixth Generation:

The sixth generation, integrated into the eleventh generation of the Civic, marked a significant milestone as Honda merged a turbocharged engine with independent suspension across all corners. This advancement represented a departure from previous generations, enhancing both performance and handling characteristics.

Exterior Design:

Contrasting with its predecessor's extravagant manga-inspired styling and prominent rear wing, the 2023 Type R adopted a more subdued appearance. Notable exterior features included the signature red H badge on the black grille, functional side air-intakes in the lower bumper, and a hood scoop for improved aerodynamics. Additionally, Honda offered a large rear wing as an optional feature, deviating from its standard inclusion on previous models.

Interior Features:

Unlike the standard Civic, the Type R boasted sport bucket seats with racing harness cut-outs, ensuring optimal driver support during spirited driving. Interior enhancements included a TFT screen for the driver and a digital display atop the center stack, enhancing user interface and functionality. Notably, the Type R featured a manual gear stick on the center console, distinguishing it from its regular Civic counterpart.

Powertrain and Performance:

Underneath the hood, Honda installed a refined version of the K20C1 inline-four powerplant from the fifth generation, delivering increased power output compared to its predecessor. Despite these enhancements, the 2023 Type R remained exclusively available with a six-speed manual transmission, staying true to the Civic Type R heritage.

Honda Civic Type R FK8 (2017-2021)

Bodystyle:
  • Five-door hatchback

Notable Features and Facelifts of the Honda Civic Type R FK8 (mk5):

  • Evolution and enhancement of the previous Type R model, establishing it as one of the top hot hatches available
  • Achievement of a new lap record at the renowned Nurburgring racetrack
  • Retention of bold styling while introducing increased comfort compared to previous iterations

Overview of the Civic Type R FK8:

  • The current Civic Type R represents a culmination of strengths from its predecessors, maintaining exceptional performance and mechanical grip while addressing previous criticisms.
  • Improvements include an enhanced driving position with lower-set seats, adjusted spring rates, and the introduction of a comfort suspension mode for a more forgiving ride.
  • Equipped with a multilink rear suspension system, the FK8 demonstrates superior capability across various road conditions, further enhanced in high-spec models with adjustable adaptive dampers.

Styling and Versatility:

  • The FK8 retains its distinctive styling elements, including a prominent spoiler, hood air intake, and 20-inch alloy wheels, emphasizing its performance-oriented design.
  • Despite its bold appearance, the Civic Type R offers versatility, with rear seats akin to the standard Civic, bolstering its usability for everyday tasks.
  • Inside, modern infotainment systems contribute to a comfortable and connected driving experience, appealing to both practical and performance-driven needs.

Performance and Driving Dynamics:

  • While capable of delivering a civil and comfortable ride during daily use, the FK8 excels in delivering exhilarating performance, evident in its impressive Nurburgring lap time.
  • Demonstrating remarkable speed and agility, the FK8 showcases its prowess as one of the leading hot hatches in the market.
  • Despite not holding the Nordschleife lap record, the FK8 remains highly regarded, reflecting Honda's dedication to refining and perfecting its iconic Type R model over multiple iterations.

Future Outlook:

  • An all-new Honda Civic Type R is scheduled for launch in 2022, further building upon the legacy and success of its predecessors.

Honda Civic Type R FK2 (2015-2017)

Bodystyle: Five-door hatchback Notable Features and Facelifts of the Honda Civic Type R FK2:

Transition from a three-door to a five-door bodystyle Introduction of a turbocharged engine, departing from the naturally-aspirated unit of its predecessors Significant increase in power and torque compared to previous models

Overview of the Fourth-Generation Type R:

The Honda Civic Type R FK2 represented a departure from its predecessors, incorporating notable changes to its design and engineering. While maintaining certain Type R principles, such as high performance and agility, the FK2 embraced advancements like a turbocharged engine, a first for any Type R model. This transition sparked discussions among fans, with some lamenting the departure from the high-revving naturally aspirated engine that had defined previous Type R models.

Performance and Engineering:

Equipped with a 2.0-liter VTEC turbocharged engine, the FK2 offered a substantial increase in power, boasting 306bhp and significantly higher torque. Despite losing some of the high-revving character of its predecessors, the FK2 delivered impressive performance, setting records such as being one of the quickest front-wheel-drive production cars to lap the Nurburgring. However, the FK2 faced criticism for its firm spring rates and cost-saving torsion beam rear suspension, which compromised its handling on uneven road surfaces.

Driving Experience and Styling:

While excelling on smooth race tracks, the FK2 struggled on bumpy roads due to its tough spring rates. Additionally, the high-set driver's seat and divisive styling elements contributed to mixed opinions among enthusiasts. Despite its short two-year production span, the FK2 left a lasting impression as a powerful and fast-paced addition to the Civic Type R lineage.

Honda Civic Type R FN2 (2007-2011)

Bodystyle:

Three-door hatchback

Notable Features and Facelifts of the Honda Civic Type R FN2:

The FN2 hatchback model introduced to Europe differed significantly from the Type R saloon available in Japan Rear suspension was simplified compared to the previous model Despite being approximately 100kg heavier, power output remained virtually unchanged Introduction of a limited-slip differential in 2010

Market-Specific Variations:

In 2007, Honda pursued a dual-market approach with the Civic Type R, creating distinct versions tailored for Europe and Asia. The Euro Type R was based on the angular three-door hatchback and manufactured in Swindon, while the Asian model derived from the four-door Civic saloon and was produced in Japan.

Performance and Reception:

The FN2 Type R featured firm springs that provided a rigid ride quality, particularly noticeable on uneven UK roads. It adopted less sophisticated rear suspension compared to its predecessor, utilizing a simple torsion beam design instead of the EP3's multilink setup. Despite its mixed reception, with some appreciating its uncompromising nature while others found it challenging to drive, the FN2 Type R boasted distinctive styling and an impressive powertrain in line with Type R tradition. However, it fell short in comparison to its predecessor in terms of driving dynamics.

Limited Edition and Upgrades:

From 2010 onward, the FN2 Type R was equipped with a limited-slip differential. Midway through its production cycle, Honda released a highly exclusive variant known as the Mugen, featuring extensive enhancements such as a reworked engine delivering 237bhp, motorsport-grade clutch, upgraded suspension, larger brakes, and aggressive aerodynamic modifications including a prominent rear wing.

Honda Civic Type R EP3 (2001-2005)

Bodystyle:

Three-door hatchback

Notable Features and Facelifts of the Honda Civic Type R EP3:

The first Civic Type R officially sold in the UK Manufactured at Honda's factory in Swindon, Wiltshire, as well as in Japan Facelifted in 2003 with updated suspension and aesthetic enhancements

Introduction to the European Market:

In response to strong demand for Honda's Type R performance models in Europe, the company introduced the second-generation Civic Type R to the region. Both the European-spec EP3 Type R and the more hardcore Japanese domestic market version were produced at Honda's Swindon factory in the UK. The European variant, while slightly diluted compared to its Japanese counterpart, retained key performance elements such as a seam-welded chassis, a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission, and a high-revving engine.

Performance Specifications:

Powered by a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter i-VTEC engine, the EP3 Type R delivered an impressive 197bhp and boasted a redline of 8,600rpm. Despite minor differences, the European model showcased a spirited driving experience, earning acclaim for its dynamic powertrain. The 2003 facelift introduced modernized headlamps and fine-tuned suspension settings, enhancing both the aesthetic appeal and driving dynamics of the EP3 Type R.

Legacy of the EP3 Type R:

Throughout its tenure, the EP3 Type R solidified its reputation as a thrilling hot hatch, embodying Honda's commitment to high-performance engineering. Its exhilarating, high-RPM character not only elevated the Civic Type R but also contributed to the enduring legacy of Honda's esteemed Type R brand.

Honda Civic Type R EK9 (1997-2000)

1996-1998 pre-facelift
1999 facelift model
Bodystyle:

Three-door hatchback

Notable Features and Facelifts of the Honda Civic Type R EK9:

Initially exclusive to the Japanese market but later imported by enthusiasts to the UK Lighter, more powerful, and featuring stiffer suspension compared to the standard Civic Equipped with a limited-slip differential for enhanced handling

Overview:

Based on the sixth-generation Civic, the Honda Civic Type R EK9 was a high-performance variant introduced in 1997. It marked Honda's venture into producing a performance-oriented version of the Civic, leveraging the success of its Type R sub-brand established five years earlier with the NSX supercar. Initially available only in Japan, the Civic Type R inherited many of the performance refinements from the NSX-R, including extensive weight-saving measures, high-revving engine characteristics, and fine-tuned suspension settings.

Performance Enhancements:

The Civic Type R was meticulously crafted for track performance, boasting reduced weight compared to the standard Civic. It featured a close-ratio transmission, mechanical limited-slip differential, and significantly increased power output. The body underwent seam welding to enhance rigidity, while vibrant red Recaro seats provided optimal support during spirited driving. Upgraded brakes further complemented the vehicle's performance capabilities.

Engine Specifications:

Despite its modest 1.6-liter displacement, the engine delivered an impressive 182bhp at 8,200rpm. Peak torque of 118lb ft was achieved at a thrilling 7,500rpm, showcasing the engine's high-revving nature. The Civic Type R represented a fusion of cutting-edge motorsport engineering with the practicality of a road-legal hatchback.