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This is the new and SA-bound Honda Civic Type R in the metal

The new sixth-generation Honda Civic Type-R recently set the new front-wheel drive lap record at Suzuka.
The new sixth-generation Honda Civic Type-R recently set the new front-wheel drive lap record at Suzuka.
Image: Supplied

In a world where homogenised EVs and crossover SUVs dominate the headlines, it brings us gleeful pleasure to report that Honda has revealed its sixth-generation Civic Type R.

Based on the 11th-generation Civic, this fiery new Japanese hot-hatch comes out swinging with an aggressive exterior that, albeit more subdued than its recent predecessors, is certainly more extroverted than its European rivals such as the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Lower and wider than its shopping-trolley siblings, the Type R cuts a menacing profile with swollen wheel arches home to 19-inch matt black alloy wheels (interestingly, the outgoing model rode on 20-inch wheels) shod with 265/30 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres. Behind them lurk red Brembo brake calipers, which should provide big stopping power. 

At the sharp-end of the Civic Type R is a bespoke front bumper that sports a large lower radiator grille said to maximise airflow to the upgraded K20C1 2.0l four-cylinder turbocharged engine. Other standout aerodynamic aids include a more low-key (by Honda standards anyway) bonnet scoop, sizeable aperture vents behind the front wheels and a new, larger rear air diffuser that is integrated directly into the vehicle's underfloor. 

Is there a rear wing? You bet there is. I mean a Civic Type R wouldn't be a Civic Type R without one, right? Sitting atop aluminium die-cast mounts and angled rearward to suppress air resistance, this spoiler is lower and wider than the one that did duty on the outgoing FK8. Honda says this accentuates the car's sleek new roofline and wider stance. 

In terms of exterior colours, we'd only be interested in Championship White, but you can also pick solid Rallye Red, Racing Blue, Crystal Black or Sonic Grey Pearls.

Inside the cabin things are red. Very red. Everything from the floor carpets and door trim accents to the newly developed, body-hugging sports seats are finished in an eye-searing shade of scarlet. Love it or hate it, the cockpit of this Civic Type R should be an epic place in which to spend time, what with its improved all-round visibility, lower driving position and preset drive modes that instantly alter engine, steering and suspension map settings. In addition to the usual Comfort, Sport and +R modes, Honda has also spliced in a new Individual mode that lets you set up your Civic Type R to better suit your driving style. 

Tailored for track-day use, the Honda LogR data logger returns to the interior fray: an intuitive and easy-to-use data logger that provides you with a wealth of real-time driving data beamed through the car's 9.0-inch touchscreen mounted atop the dashboard. Key features include a stopwatch to record lap times, tyre friction circles that display the maximum tyre force the vehicle can achieve, 3D vehicle motion display and an innovative scoring function that helps drivers improve their skills on their favourite racetrack. 

Interior highlights include a digital instrument cluster and a 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that's home to the Honda LogR data logger system.
Interior highlights include a digital instrument cluster and a 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that's home to the Honda LogR data logger system.
Image: Supplied

As for power and performance figures, well, Honda is yet to provide us with any. It has, however, stated that this is the "most responsive and powerful Type R ever", meaning it should better the 228kW/400Nm churned out by its predecessor, thanks to the fitment of a new turbocharger and revised, high-efficiency exhaust system. With an improved power-to-weight ratio it'll also accelerate faster and reach a higher top speed.

This increased internal combustion muscle is transferred to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission fitted with a switchable rev-matching feature that blips the throttle on downshifts. As with the engine to which it comes paired, Honda has treated this gearbox to some engineering optimisation, including a high-rigidity lever and optimised shift gate for an even more precise feel — not that it needed any improvement. 

The Honda Civic Type R will go on sale next year, with first deliveries to customers beginning in Europe from early 2023. The company confirmed the car will be coming to SA. However, at the time of writing, pricing and the exact launch date remained unknown.


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