Say what you want about the Honda Civic Type R — it’s not exactly subtle. What it is, though, is an absurdly fun hot hatch with over 300 horsepower, and now Honda has refreshed the styling and made some minor tweaks to improve it. Hot hatches are painfully thin on the ground at the moment, with the Civic Type R’s main rivals being the Subaru WRX STI, Volkswagen Golf R and Hyundai Veloster N. Despite not competing in as frantic a space as, say, the Honda CR-V, this car still needs to make some worthwhile changes to win over enthusiasts. So, what’s new with this updated Type R?
The changes may be hard to spot at a glance, apart from the new Boost Blue paint scheme. It’s bright, it’s loud, and it perfectly fits a car like this. Throw in the updated fascias and all the racer bits that we’ve come to love in the Type R, and it still looks like a proper hot hatch.
If you were expecting more power, though, you may be disappointed. The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine remains the same as before, driving power to the front wheels. That powertrain puts out 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, and comes mated exclusively to a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission. Comfort, Sport and +R modes vary suspension firmness, steering and throttle response to make it as sharp or as comfortable as you like. As part of the subtle changes, the 2020 Honda Civic Type R gets updated dampers, stiffer rear bushings and revisions to the front suspension and steering.
New for 2020 is another feature called Active Sound Control, otherwise known as augmented sound. The system changes the interior sound depending on the drive mode. Honda has not announced pricing yet, but we should know more closer to when it goes on sale in a few weeks.
Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more updates from the 2020 Chicago Auto Show!