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Honda Civic Type R 2017 touches down in Australia

More than 6500 Australians have pre-registered their interest in the forthcoming 228kW/400Nm Civic Type R.

Around 60 examples of the fifth-generation Honda Civic Type R arrived on Australian soil last weekend, with the first shipment of record-breaking hot hatches rolling off Port of Melbourne's Webb Dock.

Further shipments will arrive over the next few weeks to meet the Japanese model's early demand, with more than 400 units scheduled to land before the end of the year, all priced from $50,990 before on-road costs.

According to Honda Australia, 350-plus dealer orders have been placed for the returning Type R, in addition to the more than 6500 people that already have pre-registered their interest.

Set to be a media evaluation vehicle over the coming months, the initial Type R example to drive off the dock was finished in no-cost 'Rally Red' metallic paint.

Following its lead were customer cars that soon will be transported to Honda dealerships in Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory ahead of their new owners taking delivery next month.

Motivated by a 2.0-litre 'VTEC' turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, the spicy five-door punches out 228kW of power at 6500rpm and 400Nm of torque between 2500-4500rpm.

Drive is exclusively sent to the front wheels via a six-speed, close-ratio manual gearbox.

Specification details were announced in June, with the single-variant Type R including 20-inch alloy wheels, Brembo brakes, 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, front sports seats, 7.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system, digital radio, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto support, keyless entry/start and dual-zone climate control.

Meanwhile, safety and driver assistance kit extends to AEB, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, tyre pressure monitoring, reversing camera and lane keep assist.

Honda Australia director Stephen Collins reaffirmed the Type R's performance focus and pedigree, which place it as a true competitor in the hot hatch segment.

"The ultimate in Civic performance and a direct manifestation of Honda’s racing spirit, experience and heritage, the Type R stands as a banner of Honda’s commitment to creating products that put customers – and enthusiasts – at the centre of everything it does," he said.

"Since the Civic Type R prototype was unveiled at the Paris motor show last year, the anticipation surrounding Honda's next-generation high-performance hot hatch has continued to build, so it's incredibly exciting to have the first cars here now, and it won’t be long until we’ll start to see them out on the road."

The Japanese carmaker's halo model will go toe-to-toe with the 213kW/380Nm Volkswagen Golf R ($52,990) and 257kW/440Nm Ford Focus RS ($50,990).

In April, it was revealed the spicy Civic had lapped Germany's infamous Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in record time for a front-wheel-drive production vehicle, with a 7:43.8 mark set.

Does the Civic Type R signal a return to form for Honda? Tell us what you think in the comments below.