Honda Civic Type R 2017
By Cade Wilson
In a time where many manufacturers are focusing on electrification or releasing vehicles to be look seemingly “normal”, Honda have gone against the grain and released the Civic Type R which is wild in design, bursting with features, and great to drive, all without costing an arm! It has even set the fastest FWD lap record at the famous Nurburgring track.
Type R has been the pinnacle of the Civic range for the last 20 years and usually feature race ready modifications like lightened and stiffened bodywork, a specially tuned engine, upgraded brakes and chassis. A perfect entry to the race track, while still having a very usable day-to-day road car. Red was the colour of choice for badging and interior design to help set it apart from other Civics, and boy did this one have some red in it!
We’re now in the 5th generation and the Civic now resembles similarities to the Bat Mobile, and I absolutely love it! Our test vehicle was coloured in Polished Metal Metallic paint, and featured gloss black 20” alloy mag wheels with big enough spokes to show off the bright red Brembo brakes. The six speed manual transmission was nice and tight, with the gearing very usable in everyday Auckland traffic, also featuring automatic throttle blips for smoother shifts and power delivery.
As for its heart - The 2.0ltr DOHC i-VTEC turbocharged engine pumps out glorious amounts of power. The engine note sounds very good inside the cabin, almost having a naturally aspirated throatiness to it. The Type R’s razor sharp handling response is further enhanced by a body more rigid than the substantially improved Civic hatch on which it’s based – with a 38% increase in torsional rigidity and 45% gain in bending rigidity versus the previous Civic Type R – enhancing steering response and cornering stability while mitigating body vibration and cabin noise. These improvements are made possible by the application of structural adhesive throughout the body (everybody’s doing it these days). Ultra-high strength steel is used for 14% of the body structure, and the Type R has an aluminium bonnet, contributing to a 16kg reduction in body weight versus the previous model.
I enjoyed the fact that this car has Honda Sensing Safety Technology with adaptive cruise control - the first time I have experienced this in a manual. I hope you like red, because it’s everywhere… The race-style bucket seats, safety belts, steering wheel and dash trim all red or accented with red, with the same treatment outside. The design is based on the Civic hatchback, with a winged carbon fibre front lower splitter with red accent line, slatted ducts, diamond-mesh air intakes, red 'H' badge above a new air vent at the nose of the car, new intake on the bonnet, carbon fibre side skirts, enlarged wheel arches, a carbon fibre diffuser that runs below the wider rear bumper, 3 tailpipes and unique peaks at the roof flanks point backwards.
This is very much an attention seeking car with proud, bold looks and just when I thought I had reached the age where I would be happy to settle for a “normal” car, I now want a Type-R!
The Type R is currently unrated for ANCAP.
At a glance
|Models||Honda Civic Type R|
|Engine||2.0L i-Vtec Turbo|
|Price||$59,900 + ORC|
|ANCAP safety rating||Model unrated|
|Power||228kW, 400Nm Torque|
|Transmission||6-Speed short throw manual|
|Luggage capacity / payload||380kg|
|Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS)||Road Departure Mitigation (RDM)|
|Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)||Lane Departure Warning (LDW)|
Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
|Lane Watch Camera (LWC)|