Published: Wed, March 08, 2017
Industry | By Faith Ward

Honda debuts its fastest, most powerful Civic yet

Honda debuts its fastest, most powerful Civic yet

Drivers will love the three different drive modes - with the default setting being Sport, an additional track-focused +R setting is also available alongside a tamer comfort mode.

That leaves the new Type R with 316bhp. The Japanese hot hatch keeps numerous outgoing model's go-faster parts, but which have been retuned to provide an even more hardcore driving experience.

Power is expected to come via a tweaked version of the outgoing model's 228kW/400Nm K20C1 2.0-litre VTEC four-cylinder turbo petrol screamer - peak power arrived at 6500rpm - fitted to a rev-matching six-speed manual gearbox. Compared to the already aggressive-looking standard Civic hatch, the Type R gets even larger air intakes, a large front splitter and a bonnet-mounted air intake, so it's not exactly something you'll want to see hogging your rear-view mirror.

The front Macpherson strut suspension of the standard hatchback is revised with new geometry to minimise torque steer and maximise sporty handling.

Visually, the new Type R retains its trademark extrovert styling, but Honda claims the new model has a "more comprehensive aerodynamic package" than its predecessor.

Significantly, this will also mark the first time Honda will sell the Civic Type R in the American market, which has missed out on the hot hatch's first nine generations. Last November, while attending the Los Angeles Auto Show Press Days, I was afforded the opportunity to sit behind the wheel of the "just in from Paris", Civic Type-R Concept.

Honda's given the Type R three drive modes: Comfort, Sport, and +R.

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The new Type R takes the lighter, more rigid body shell of the new Civic hatchback and adds further use of adhesive in key areas. In just a few short months it will be forbidden no more.

Our idea was to make the vehicle appealing to a wide range of buyers and by adding the Comfort mode, we believe it will be a valuable addition for North America people.

Under the skin you'll find adaptive dampers and a proper multi-link, independent rear suspension setup. Its arrival in North America will mark the first time that any Honda-badged Type R has been officially sold there'.

When it arrives in the US, the 2017 Civic Type R will be available as a loaded variant similar to the range-topping Touring grade in more pedestrian Civics.

Designers have increased the overall aerodynamics of the auto by adding new vortex generators, rear wing made using lightweight materials and a front air curtain.

The front-wheel-drive performance hero also benefits from revised aerodynamics including supercar-spec flat underbody elements and oversized spoilers created to deliver increased downforce at speed.

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