Over the past years, Honda has been seen secretly testing out their new Civic Type R. Speculations arose regarding the power unit due to the fact that most car manufacturers are now more inclined towards the electrification of their flagship models. And with Honda already making their NSX hybrid nearly a decade ago, it made many people question whether the new Type R will receive the same fate.
But fans can rejoice as Honda has made the 2023 Civic Type R, the most powerful Type-R Honda to date, making it quite possibly the most desirable car to come out this year. Also, rather fittingly, the new sixth-generation Civic Type R celebrates the 50 years of the Honda Civic. But hold on, before you get all excited and giddy, there are some facts and figures to be discussed about.
The new Civic Type R is first and foremost a hatchback like it’s FK8R predecessor. So, Malaysians, your 11th Gen Civic sedan couldn’t be converted into a hatch. Unless you’d like something like a Civic ‘Type R Longtail’, sure, by all means go ahead. That being said, the new Civic Type R looks rather different as compared to it’s sedan counterpart.
So, let’s start with some proper facts. The Civic Type R still retains a front wheel-drive (FWD) layout, an internal combustion engine without any electric assistance and also a six-speed manual gearbox because god forbids a dual-clutch transmission (DCT) on a Civic Type R. So, the recipe remains the same just like how enthusiasts enjoy them.
In terms of figures, Honda has chucked the same 2.0-litre turbocharged K20C VTEC engine that fans have been enjoying. However, they have said that this improved configuration produces ‘more’ horsepower than the 316hp and 400Nm of torque that the FK8R used to generate. But exactly how much horsepower has Honda managed to squeeze out is yet to be announced for now.
Even the weight of the new Civic Type R has yet to be told. But it being new and without a hybrid system, it is safe to assume that the new car will definitely give the FK8R a run for its money. Even before the launch, the new Civic Type R has been beating FWD production-car lap records around Suzuka quite recently.
The Premium Civic Type R
The new car even has something Honda calls a LogR, a data logger that displays real-time information on the car’s dynamics and behavior which of course, includes a stopwatch.
Just like all the Civic Type Rs that we love, the new car remembers its roots as it displays all the details that makes it a Type R. Red seats and the polished gear knob is still there. But Honda has given the Type R a modern interior that instantly makes the Type R feel ‘premium’.
The infotainment system is now a large iPad-like display stuck on the dashboard. Even the gauges are digital and with the flick of the ‘R+’ switch, you get yourself a horizontal cluster reminiscent of the one from the S2000. And of course, Honda has stuck the numbered Type R plaque on the dashboard instead of the shifter.
In terms of chassis, Honda claims that the body is “lightweight and highly rigid” due to the “enhanced suspension and steering performance”. We believe this was achieved by downsizing the wheels from the previous FK8R. In which is now a 19-inch wheel compared to the previous 20-inch wheel, but with the 19-inch running on Michelin’s Pilot Sport 4 S helps too.
Maturity Comes With Age
Overall, I would say the new Civic Type R has grown up and is now much more mature. I’ve always loathed how the FK8R looks. I’ve never been a fan and have always thought it looks good only in black because I can’t stand how the fake vents fill the gap between panels. But the new car however, seems rather lovely.
Gone are those fake vents, the overfenders and the rather odd rear end. But hello to smooth lines, a gorgeous rear wing and subtle styling everywhere. Not to mention, apart from the iconic Championship White, the car now also comes in Rallye Red, Racing Blue Pearl, Crystal Black Pearl and Sonic Grey Pearl.
Prices have yet to be announced but we expect a RM300,000 mark. But with something like the GR Corolla and Golf R now in the same field, the hot hatch market is definitely something interesting for aftermarket tuners to dip their hands in.
Written by | Danial Malek
Images by | Honda