Based on the domestic market four-door Civic, this Type-R has a development of the Integra Type-R's K20A 2-litre i-VTEC engine with 222bhp (5bhp up on the also Japan-only Integra DC5) and 159lb ft – produced nearly 1000rpm lower in the rev-range. That’s well up on the 198bhp and 142lb ft of the official UK-market Type-R. Honda in Japan claims it will hit sixty in under 6 seconds and, thanks to aerodynamic improvements, run on to over 150mph.
However, there's more to it than straight-line speed; the Civic Type-R four-door has been developed on the Tsukuba, Suzuka and Nürburgring racetracks. The spec is astounding: a helical limited-slip diff; a lighter, 50 per cent more rigid bodyshell; 320mm-diameter Brembo brakes; shorter ratios for the first three gears and slightly longer ratios for gears four-six; and lower, stiffer suspension – crucially it has double-wishbone rear suspension rather than the UK car’s cheaper and less precise torsion beam set-up. The Japanese spec also includes super-sticky 225/40 R18 Bridgestone RE070 rubber, a tyre that was first seen on the NSX-R.
The results sound startling – the Civic is 4 seconds quicker around Suzuka than the Integra Type-R, and at Tsukuba it gets to within a second of a standard NSX. We’ll find out how it copes with UK roads later this year.
The hotly-anticipated Honda Civic Type R goes on sale in March 2007 in the UK, and it’s been well worth the wait.
While it’s just as exhilarating to drive as the outgoing Civic Type R, the latest high performance version is a more refined ‘superhatch’, with improved comfort levels, integrated styling and handling tuned for enhanced responsiveness and predictability.
The new Civic Type R continues to be powered by the naturally-aspirated, high-revving 2.0-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine but the unit has been significantly reworked to improve responsiveness using a new balancer shaft and drive-by-wire throttle control. VTEC variable valve timing and VTC variable inlet camshaft technology continue to underpin the engine structure.
Further development of the Type R unit means more useable torque, as the switch to high-lift, long duration valve timing (the cam change) now takes place at a lower 5,200 rpm, and continues all the way to 8,000 rpm. So that screaming, high rpm VTEC range is broader and more accessible. To mark the entry to this ‘power band’ a new i-VTEC indicator just to the right of the digital speedometer is illuminated once the revs rise above 5,200 rpm.
Maximum power is now 204 bhp, reached at 8,000 rpm and the car is more responsive generally, while improved aerodynamics ensure the new car cuts through the air more cleanly. Slightly lower gearing compensates for a small increase in kerb weight.
Acceleration figures are expected to be virtually identical to the 6.4-second 0-60 mph time of the outgoing car – and the new car should match its top speed too, powering on to 146 mph.
The chassis of the Civic 5-door – already widely praised for its handling balance – forms the basis for all 3-door models and provides an ideal platform for the Type R.
Building on the Civic Type S suspension, which is fine-tuned for sharper chassis dynamics, the Type R takes those modifications to the next level. Like the Type S, its rear track is almost an inch wider than that of the 5-door model, but otherwise damper, bush and spring characteristics are all unique to Type R.
Broad 225/40 ZR18 tires provide added grip, while a half an inch reduction in ride height further reduces body roll. Firmer steering, a quicker ratio and stiffer steering box mountings all provide pin-sharp responses to steering wheel input, while the fuel tank’s central location beneath the cabin floor helps to lower the center of gravity and reduces the body’s inertia moment.
While the styling of previous Civic Type Rs has almost been an after-thought, the latest car enhances the already-bold appearance of the Civic to build an incredibly assertive look. Seven-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels are fitted as standard and – helped by the car’s low ride height – these tuck neatly under the body colored arches.
The deep front spoiler incorporates a larger air intake to channel air to the induction system, as well as triangular foglamps. There’s no missing the distinct body-colored tailgate rear spoiler, which follows the kick-up line from the rear quarter windows, and provides added down-force. At the front, a black honeycomb mesh grille replaces the glass panel of other Civics, sporting – of course – the infamous red ‘H’ badge.
Inside, it’s all about the driving experience. Front seats are racing-style buckets with large black Alcantara bolsters and red stitching, red fabric seat cushions and backs. The seat bench in the back repeats the same color combination.
Also available will be a fully-equipped GT version, with additional features such as cruise control, dual zone air conditioning, fog lights, automatic lights and wipers and curtain SRS bags. A voice-activated, state-of-the-art navigation system is offered as an option.
The Civic Type R goes on sale in the UK in March 2007. Pricing is yet to be announced.
Hot Honda alert. Winding Road's European editor, Matt Davis was present at a press event recently, when a Honda Japan engineer dropped a choice nugget. Apparently, Honda's launching a Type R model for the US market. As Honda frizzeaks know, Europeans have the UK-built Type R hatch and Japanese have the Type R sedan. We're most likely to get the sedan, considering the Euro hatch has no counterpart in the US. The US Type R would get a horsepower boost over the JDM's 220 hp and limited-slip diff, along with similar suspension and appearance mods. The low-end horsepower war the car is sure to foment will commence around 2010. – Mike Spinelli
Honda produced a very limited number of NSX type R in 1992 for Japan. Major changes include a more aggressive suspension and an extensive weight reduction to 1230 kg from the normal NSX weight of 1350 kg. The NSX type R was very track oriented as it lacked sound deadening, audio, electric windows, and air conditioning in an effort to reduce weight. The NSX type R's role was replaced by the NSX type S Zero in 1997
A second iteration of the type-R dubbed NSX-R was released in 2002, again exclusively in Japan. The NSX-R has a more aggressive rear spoiler and hood vent, along with various refinements to reduce weight to 1270 kg. Under the body, panels and air fences in the front, along with a small rear diffuser serve to produce balanced downforce. The subtle changes along with its renowned handling have kept NSX-R in contention on the track even against considerably higher-powered cars, such as the Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale, whose Nurburgring Nordschleife lap time it tied.
Integra Type R
A regional variant is known in North America as the Acura Integra Type R (DC2) and Acura RSX Type-S (DC5). In the rest of the world the RSX (DC5) is still called Integra.
The DC2 Type R came standard with a 195 hp (figure may vary in different countries) 1.8 L DOHC VTEC engine, known as the B18C5 or B18C-R. Equipped with a close ratio 5-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential, the DC2 Integra Type R had significantly improved performance and handling relative to the non-Type R Integras. These were the result of extensive changes, including a strengthened chassis with extra spot welds, weight reduction (reduced sound insulation, thinner windscreen, lighter wheels and exhaust), more power (due in part to an 8400 rpm redline and hand-polished intake and exhaust ports), and suspension upgrades. The result was a capable sports coupe which was acclaimed by motoring journalists worldwide. The DC2 Type R was the only Honda Type R ever sold in the United States.
The DC5 Type R (Japanese market only) comes standard with a 220 hp 2.0 L DOHC i-VTEC 4 cylinder engine. The "i" in i-VTEC stands for intelligent VTEC, which employs VTC (Variable Timing Control) to advance or retard the timing up to 50 degrees. The Integra Type R comes equipped with Recaro seats, a close ratio 6-speed manual transmission, a limited-slip differential, and a stiffer suspension.
Civic Type R
There were initially 2 unofficial versions of the 'Type R' - the 1991 EF9 (EF8 - Civic CRX) SiR and the 1992 EG6 SiR II. The former is the first Civic ever to utilise the venerable B16 engine and the renowned helical LSD, with a stripped out interior devoid of luxuries such as power windows and power steering. Another first was the employment of the four wheel double wishbone independent suspension, which gave this sub-1000kg Civic highly adjustable handling on the limit. This inaugural top-of-the range Civic marked Honda's successes in Formula One, with multiple Constructors' Championships with the Marlboro McLaren team. The latter EG6 SiR II sang the same luxury-free tune, with a 10hp hike for the B16 engine and a marginally stiffer chassis, better brakes and an updated nineties facade - this time round, the curb weight tipped the scales at just over a ton.
The Civic Type R was officially introduced in Japan in 1997, as an EK9-chassis hatchback, and shared many characteristics with the Integra Type R such as omission of sound deadening and other weight-reduction measures, a hand-ported B16B engine, front limited-slip differential, close ratio gearbox etc. The EK9 B16B engine boasted one of the highest power output per litre of all time for a NA engine at 185ps from a 1.6L sump, which is greater than that of a Ferrari 360 Modena. With a strategically seam welded monocoque chassis, this lithe 3 door hatch gave many competitors with larger price tags, bigger engines and/or more gadgetry a good run for their money. However, this generation of the Civic Type R was not marketed by Honda outside of Japan.
(Note: the EK generation SiR III was released as a mainstream 170ps Civic (EK4) that was available worldwide, and was immensely popular due to its relatively low cost and high performance from both engine and chassis even without the high end treatment such as LSD, close ratio gearbox, race interiors and seam welding.
In Canada, Honda Civic SiR is basically an American equivalent of Civic Si in 1999-2000. However, UK version of Civic SiR hatchback was sold in Canada between 2002-2004 model years. High exchange rate prevented 2005 models from being imported.)
In 2001 Honda introduced the next generation of the Civic Type R (EP3) as a unique 3 door hatchback to the UK market, which was manufactured in Swindon, England. This later EDM Civic Type R features a 197hp 2.0L i-VTEC engine (K20A) and the regular Type R treatment of seam welding, close ratio transmission and uprated brakes, but does not include some of the other higher-end features, such as the helical LSD and Recaro race-seats, that were standard in the previous generation. This however, does not pertain to the JDM version of the EP3 (which is also manufactured in Swindon, but shipped to Japan only for some high end fettling), which retains the highly renowned helical LSD similar to that of the EK9. Other differences include more track-oriented chassis and undercarriage settings as compared to the EDM, as well as a 215ps engine with different camshafts and ECU programming. The JDM EP3 is still one of the quickest despite recent challengers such as the Golf Mk5 GTI and Focus ST - it remains highly competitive to even the most high-end of sporty hatchbacks, in the form of the Golf R32, BMW 130, Clio V6 and Alfa Romeo GTA. The EDM is a tad less focused with more relaxed gear ratios and a better torque curve, but is a shade slower in the sprint to the century mark - observers have likened the JDM to a frenzied ever-ready track-happy machine, and the more subtle EDM to a combination of weekend track-toy and cross country GT.
The EDM EP3 was widely acclaimed by motoring journalists across the UK, winning 'Hot Hatch of the Year' awards more than once from Top Gear and What Car?. The Civic Type R became a popular alternative for mainstream drivers, with the EDM clocking huge sales numbers. The JDM remained a strictly 'export-model' only despite being manufactured in the UK, and is relatively rare outside of Japan. The 2001 release of this CTR, as it is commonly referred to, also indicated Honda's return to Formula One in almost 10 years as an engine supplier to the Jordan and BAR teams - this eventually led to the full-fledged comeback as a dedicated F1 works team in 2005 with Honda gaining full ownership of BAR. 2004 also saw this hugely successful CTR updated with many improvements - quicker steering, revised suspension settings, HID headlamps (JDM only), lighter flywheel assembly etc; according to Honda literature, this facelifted (FL) model was targeted at addressing customers' and crtics' feedback such as that of understeer (due to the front Macpherson strut setup), numb steering response and lack of low end torque.
For the European market, an all new Civic Type R based on the 2006 Civic Type-S was announced at the Geneva Motor Show in February 2006 and scheduled for release in March 2007. A new 4-door Type R prototype was also unveiled prior to the 2006 Japanese Grand Prix based on the JDM FD Civic. Honda has announced the new Civic Type R will have a 201ps (198bhp) 2.0L i-VTEC engine. This 5th generation flagship Civic will be the first to be made available in 4-door guise. Noticeable upgrades are the the digital dashboard/cockpit. There will be an increase in the overall kerb weight of 64kg, but 0-60mph acceleration remains at 6.6 seconds. Two trim levels will be available; Type-R and Type-R GT. GT version adds convenience features (cruise control, automatic light/wipers, refridgerated glovebox, voice-controlled satellite navigation (option)).
Accord Type R
The Honda Accord Type-R was produced from 1998 – 2003 with a naturally aspirated H22A7 that produced 212 bhp @ 7200 rpm, in addition to the standard Type R modifications - Recaro seats, a limited-slip-differential, independent double-wishbone suspension, etc. This Type-R was only ever produced for the European (UKDM/EUDM)market, with the bulk being sold in the UK. All Accord Type-R's, whether for UK or EU markets, were produced at Honda's Swindon factory. 0-60 mph in 7 secs, with 142mph top speeed.
For the Asian market exists a different model, the Euro-R, which has significant variations from the UKDM/EUDM versio