Production version of the new turbocharged Honda Civic Type R unveiled in Geneva.
Honda’s Civic Type R hot hatch hero has returned, debuting at this week’s Geneva motor show in its fourth generation.
Unlike previous generations that used naturally aspirated engines, the new model employs a turbocharged four-cylinder engine which develops 228kW/400Nm – significantly more than the 148kW/193Nm of the preceding Type R.
Naturally, the new Type R is a lot faster – with a claimed 0-100km/h figure of just 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 270km/h.
Unlike its Ford Focus RS rival which has recently made the switch from front to all-wheel drive, the Civic uses a front-wheel drive setup with a six-speed manual gearbox.
It also has a unique dual-axis strut front suspension setup, which features an additional steering knuckle to reduce the torque steer normally associated with powerful front-wheel drive cars.
Honda says it has reduced torque steer in the Type R by 50 per cent compared to the standard Civic.
The rear suspension uses a torsion beam design that has been modified over the standard Civic to incorporate a new ‘crushed pipe,’ which improves roll rigidity by 180 per cent and aids high-speed stability.
Adaptive dampers have also been fitted at each corner, while the electric power steering system has been recalibrated for better response and feedback.
The bodywork has also been extensively modified in the transformation from humble to hot hatch.
As previewed by the various concept cars that preceded this final production version, the Type R gets an aggressive front bumper with integrated front splitter, while the wheelarches have swollen and include aerodynamic vents to reduce high-speed lift and cool the brakes.
At the rear the concept’s diffuser with quad exhaust tips and Formula 1-style centrally mounted fog light carry over, while the rear wing has been toned down slightly – it still isn’t subtle though.
Wheels are 19-inch items specific to the Type R wrapped in 235/35 tyres, which cover Brembo brakes measuring 350mm at the front with four piston calipers.
The result of all these changes according to Honda, is a new front-wheel drive production car Nurburgring lap record with a time of 7 minutes 50.63 seconds.
It’s about four seconds quicker than the hardcore Renault Megane RS275 Trophy R that previously held the record.
However, the Type R that set the record was not standard and had its air-conditioning, infotainment system and passenger seat removed for its timed runs.
Honda claims that the addition of a roll cage makes up for any weight reduction advantages gained by the removal of the car’s standard equipment.
While the new Honda Civic Type R will go on sale in Europe in a few months time, it may not arrive locally until 2017 as Honda Australia wants to get the new NSX hybrid supercar on the road first.