Honda is getting serious about competing in the hot hatch market, and the new Civic Type R introduced at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show has the power, and the wing, to prove it.
The new Type R uses Honda’s all new, turbocharged, direct-injected 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 310 PS (306 hp) at 6,500 rpm and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque at a low 2,500 rpm. This is the first Type R to use a turbocharged engine, and Honda claims a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) time of 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 167 mph.
Power gets to the wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission, the only option available. To fight torque steer from pushing all those horses through the front wheels, the Type R has what Honda calls a Dual Axis Strut Front Suspension system, which they say reduces torque steer by 50 percent compared to a standard Civic.
The rest of the suspension is beefed up as well. The Type R has an active damper system that maintains independent control of all four wheels, and allows for flatter cornering and a better ride. Those looking for the return of a fully independent rear suspension will be disappointed, however, as the R rides on a torsion beam in the back, although one that’s been massaged for performance driving.
The Civic Type R also has a secret weapon, a +R button that, when pressed, changes the engine’s torque mapping, reduces steering assist, and stiffens the suspension.
Outside, the aggressive styling not only looks the part, but also serves an aerodynamic purpose. That big wing increases downforce without a significant increase in drag, and the front splitter manages airflow and reduces lift.
The interior has been given the R treatment as well. The interior is black with prodigious use of red accents, including on the seats, dash and steering wheel. In keeping with tradition, the R’s shift knob is aluminum.
Honda hasn’t said whether or not the Civic Type R will make it to US shores, but they announced in January that they will build a turbocharged engine in Ohio. If the Type R does come to the US, it will face tough competition from the new Ford Focus RS. Also announced in Geneva, the RS has similar horsepower ratings but it has all wheel drive, which all but eliminates front-drive torque steer.
Check out this TFLcar A to Z video compilation of the all the cars from Geneva. This is the Part 1. Stay tuned for Part 2 coming very soon.