2023 Honda Civic Type R Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Sep 05, 2022

Nearly 25 years after the first Civic Type R rolled off an assembly line in Suzuka, Japan, Honda is making history again. This time, it's with the debut of the all-new 2023 Honda Civic Type R, the fastest and most powerful model ever to wear the automaker's shiny "H" logo in the U.S. market.

2023 Honda Civic Type R Red on Racetrack Front Quarter View

How much horsepower does the new Civic Type R make? How do 315 ponies sound? That's nine more than the outgoing version of the car, and the turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine also delivers 310 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 15 pound-feet. And yes, it still churns to the front wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission.

Beyond the power bump, Honda claims it engineered the new Civic Type R to "deliver thrilling performance with an addictive driving experience." The last time one of our automotive experts wrote a Honda Civic Type R review, he called the car "an affordable exotic" that's "just so entertaining to drive that it's hard to resist."

Undoubtedly, those observations will hold for the all-new Civic Type R.

What's New for the 2023 Honda Civic Type R? - Find the best Honda deals!

  • Redesigned high-performance version of the Civic hatchback
  • Red and black interior with serialized plate mounted on the dashboard
  • More powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine
  • Improved 6-speed manual transmission with rev matching
  • Digital instrumentation with special +R data view
  • 2023 Honda Civic Type R release date is Fall 2022

2023 Honda Civic Type R Exterior - Find the best Honda deals!

2023 Honda Civic Type R Blue on Racetrack Rear Quarter View

Based on the latest Honda Civic hatchback, the new 2023 Civic Type R swaps the boy-racer styling of the previous-generation model for a more subtle but no less serious appearance. The new Type R is longer, lower, and wider than before, with substantially better-integrated aerodynamic elements that add downforce and reduce drag.

Highlights of the design changes include restyled front and rear bumpers, a honeycomb grille insert that matches the car's interior trim, revised side sills, an exclusive basket-handle rear spoiler, and a new rear diffuser panel punctuated in the center by the Type R's signature three round exhaust outlets. The car sits on new 19-inch lightweight matte-black wheels tucked under flared fenders, and the 2023 Type R has wider rear doors that it doesn't share with the standard Civic hatch.

Overall, the new look is less obnox… er, more mature than the outgoing car. The 2023 Honda Civic Type R colors include Championship White, Rallye Red, Racing Blue Pearl, Crystal Black Pearl, and Sonic Gray Pearl. Red-accented badges and red-painted brake calipers complete the new Type R's look.

2023 Honda Civic Type R Interior - Find the best Honda deals!

2023 Honda Civic Type R Interior Dashboard

The red accents continue inside, dominating an otherwise black cabin lifted largely from the Civic Sport Touring hatch. Features include a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a dual-zone automatic climate control system, exclusive metal pedals, an aluminum shift knob, and silver center console trim.

Honda also equips the new Type R with deeply bolstered front performance seats with racing harness pass-throughs and wrapped in red simulated suede. The hue matches both the interior trim and the carpeting. A serialized Type R plate in each car decorates the dashboard, displaying the unique production number.

2022 Honda Civic Type R Specs - Find the best Honda deals!

Honda claims the new Civic Type R will deliver "the best driving experience in the hot hatch segment." To support its position, it fortifies the new Type R with a more powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, a revised rev-matching 6-speed manual transmission, improved cooling systems, and a reworked exhaust system.

Honda says the new Type R makes 315 hp at 6,500 rpm and 310 pound-feet of torque between 2,600 and 4,000 rpm. Previously, the Type R generated 306 hp and 295 pound-feet of torque.

Furthermore, the company says the engine is more responsive than before and that the new Type R is faster. It has a redesigned turbocharger and increased air intake flow rate; it breathes easier through the new exhaust system. At higher rpm, an active exhaust valve opens to ensure everyone within earshot knows you're going super fast. Upgraded engine cooling ensures sustained performance when hammering your new car hard.

Honda upgrades the manual gearbox with a lighter flywheel, more precise shifts, and improved downshift rev-matching. Naturally, the helical limited-slip front differential returns; otherwise, how would this thing accelerate, given the amount of power flowing to the front wheels?

Comfort, Sport, and +R driving modes carry over, joined by a new Individual driving mode that allows a driver to tailor the car's dynamic behavior to specific preferences. Note that Honda supplies quick access to the +R mode via a button on the center console.

Honda also claims the new Type R has "enhanced suspension and steering performance" compared to the previous model. Honda tuned the car on Germany's fabled Nürburgring, and the new Type R holds a new track record at Suzuka in Japan, which suggests it will be a laugh-riot to drive. Honda confirms that the redesigned Type R will continue to employ an adaptive damping suspension.

Wheels drop a size, from 20s to new 19-inch 10-spoke rims in a matte-black finish. Honda wraps them in 265/30ZR19 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S performance tires, which barely hide the Brembo performance brakes with two-piece front rotors and red-painted calipers.

Historically, Honda has tried to maximize Civic Type R performance by eliminating weight. As this article is written, the company hasn't confirmed the steps it may have taken to reduce the new 2023 model's overall mass.

2023 Honda Civic Type R Safety - Find the best Honda deals!

Safety features don't sell the Civic Type R, so Honda still hasn't defined what the new model will include. However, it's fair to guess that it will have the latest Civic's updated Advanced Compatibility Engineering vehicle architecture and new front airbag designs that better protect against head injuries.

The new Type R will also have the Honda Sensing collection of advanced driving assistance systems. (The adaptive cruise control button on the steering wheel gives it away.) In addition to adaptive cruise, Honda Sensing equips the new Civic Type R with forward-collision warning, automatic emergency brakinglane-departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, and lane-centering assistance. Additionally, the Type R will likely have a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic warning.

Since the Type R comes only with a manual gearbox, do not expect it to offer semi-autonomous functions such as Honda's traffic-jam assist technology or low-speed automatic braking while parking.

2023 Honda Civic Type R Technology - Find the best Honda deals!

An old saying claims that a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to the first official photos of the new Honda Civic Type R, that's accurate because Honda was tight-lipped about many of this hot hatch's details in the run-up to the official debut.

Photos are how we knew the new Type R comes with the same 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system you'll find in the Civic Sport Touring hatchback. Now, Honda has confirmed it. That means the Type R offers Bluetooth smartphone pairing, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, SiriusXM satellite radio, and a wireless phone charger. Honda pairs it with a 12-speaker Bose premium sound system.

The 2023 Civic Type R also comes with a 10.2-inch digital instrumentation panel with an exclusive view that activates in conjunction with the car's +R driving mode. This view changes the upper portion of the data panel to show a graphic engine rpm display, rev indicator lights, the selected gear, and vehicle speed. Drivers can program the data on the display's lower part.

Honda's LogR performance data recording system carries over from the previous model but no longer requires a smartphone app. It records real-time performance data, includes a stopwatch for logging lap times, and allows sharing LogR system information in video format. TikTok will never be the same.

2023 Honda Civic Type R Competitors - Find the best Honda deals!

The 2023 Civic Type R competes in a class of three. Among mass-market sport compacts, only the Toyota GR Corolla and Volkswagen Golf R are members of the 300+ horsepower club. And both of those come with standard all-wheel drive.

While the 'Yota and VeeDub are appealing in their own right, the Civic Type R has a deserved reputation for mainlining adrenaline and dopamine to its driver's pleasure centers. Undoubtedly, the redesigned 2023 Honda Civic Type R will do the same.

Honda is the source of information in this article. It was accurate as of September 1, 2022, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker's website or your local dealership.

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