by Jack Rix, 11 Feb, 2015
More details on new 280bhp-plus Honda Civic Type R hot hatch, plus official teaser pics
Despite displaying a concept at the Paris Motor Show in September, Honda still isn’t ready to fully reveal its production-ready Civic Type R – but it’s getting tantalizingly close. Ahead of its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March, the brand has released three detail pictures and new information, while our main image shows how the full production car could look.
Most striking of all is the Type R’s claimed top speed of 167mph – just 7mph behind the new four-wheel-drive, 362bhp Audi RS3 and 2mph faster than the old 345bhp Ford Focus RS500.
The eye-popping top speed is down to the Civic’s clever aerodynamic package, which uses a flat underbody, rear diffuser, big rear wing, front splitter and carefully shaped side skirts to balance downforce with drag and boost high-speed stability.
Also confirmed are specifically designed Brembo brakes that use four-piston calipers to grab 350mm drilled discs at the front. These sit behind the unique 19-inch wheels (right). The production car also has a tweaked front end, featuring round foglights and larger intakes to help the new 2.0-litre VTEC turbo engine’s heat management.
The new instrument cluster has been revealed, too, displaying a rev counter that reads up to 8,000rpm and a +R button left of the dials. This will sharpen throttle response, turn up the exhaust volume and add weight to the steering.
The car on display in Geneva will be finished in Championship White paint – previewed in our main image and a color synonymous with Type Rs of the past. But that’s where Honda’s nostalgia ends. The new car will be on a different performance level to its predecessors, sending over 280bhp through a six-speed manual box to the front tires to take it from 0-62mph in around six seconds.
It’s no secret that Honda is targeting the Nürburgring front-wheel-drive lap record, currently held by the Renaultsport Mégane Trophy R. So, helping it rip around corners is a new steer-axis suspension system to keep things stable and quell torque steer, while adaptive dampers will improve on-road usability.
Honda claims 100 UK orders have already been placed, with each customer paying a £3,000 deposit. When deliveries start in the summer, prices are expected to kick off from just under £30,000 – putting the car squarely in line with Ford’s new 316bhp, four-wheel-drive Focus RS.
White-hot new Honda Civic Type R to hit 167mph | Auto Express