2017 Honda Civic Type R Preview
- Performance-tuned version of the Civic hatchback
- 306 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque
- Offered only with a manual transmission
- Front-wheel drive, with helical limited-slip differential
- Adaptive suspension and steering
- Brembo braking components
- Comfort, Sport, and +R driving modes
- Priced in the mid-$30,000 range
- On sale in the U.S. by the summer of 2017
Calling it the “most powerful, quickest, fastest, and most agile Civic ever,” Honda took the wraps off the long-awaited 2017 Civic Type R at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. Built in Swindon, England, and based on the recently introduced Civic hatchback, the new Type R goes on sale in the U.S. market in time for the summer of 2017. Better yet, Honda says it will be priced in the mid-$30,000 range.
Unless you desperately require a visit to an ophthalmologist, you won’t mistake the Civic Type R for a standard Civic hatchback. Dramatically over-styled, the most subtle thing about the Type R is the red detailing on the badges, trim, wheels, and just about everything else.
A carbon-pattern front splitter leads the way, underscoring gaping black panels punched into the fascia and featuring fog lights. Air intakes flank these, and the Civic Type R is equipped with LED headlights, a hood scoop, and fender vents.
At the trailing edge of the roof, vortex generators smooth airflow to make the enormous rear wing more effective, and the Type R’s triple-outlet center-exit exhaust punctuates the car’s busily detailed butt.
Inside, performance bolstered front seats are wrapped in red and black “suede-effect” fabric and feature racing harness pass-throughs, lending credence to Honda’s claim that this car delivers “track-ready” performance right off of the assembly line.
Additionally, an aluminum shift knob, aluminum sport pedals, unique instrumentation, carbon-pattern trim, and red accent detailing distinguish the Type R from a standard-issue Civic hatch, and an automatic climate control system is standard equipment. A serialized Type R plate ensures that yours is unlike any other on the road.
Honda plans to offer the Type R only in top Touring trim, without any factory options. Dealers might offer accessories for the car, but just remember that more stuff equals more weight, which in turn means reduced performance.
Under the Hood:
A turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is tucked under the Civic Type R’s hood, making 306 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 295 lb.-ft. of torque from 2,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm. A short-throw 6-speed manual gearbox is the only transmission choice, featuring rev-matching capability and powering the car’s front wheels.
Like most other modern performance cars, the Civic Type R’s talents were honed on Germany’s Nurburgring racetrack, leading to substantial upgrades to the vehicle architecture and the suspension. Honda claims that compared to the previous version of the Type R, which never came to the U.S. market, the new one boasts a 38-percent increase in torsional rigidity and a 45-percent improvement in bending rigidity.
A new dual-axis front strut suspension employing several aluminum components is claimed to improve at-the-limit cornering while reducing torque steer, while a multi-link suspension handles ride and handling duties at the rear. A 4-wheel adaptive suspension is standard, and the Type R features exclusive settings for its dampers, springs, and bushings.
Additional go-fast goodies include adaptive, variable ratio dual-pinion electric steering system, a helical limited-slip differential, and black painted, thin-spoke, 20-inch wheels wrapped in 245/30 performance tires and ringed by a red outer edge. Brembo 4-piston front calipers (painted red, of course) clamp cross-drilled 13.8-inch front discs, helping to haul the Type R down from speed in a hurry.
Drivers can choose between Comfort, Sport, and +R driving modes, which adjust the throttle response, transmission rev-matching, stability and traction control systems, and adaptive damping suspension accordingly.
During the Type R’s reveal in Geneva, Honda did not discuss safety equipment or how structural changes might impact the car’s crashworthiness.
Because the Civic Type R comes in a single level of specification, it has a standard touchscreen infotainment system with a 7-inch display, a navigation system, next-generation satellite radio, HD Radio, Pandora access, and smartphone projection technology supporting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It is paired with a 12-speaker premium sound system.