At the Paris Motor Show 2014, Honda has revealed their eagerly anticipated new Civic Type R, which promises to be the most extreme and high-performing Type R yet in the 22 year history of the red ‘H’ badge, signalling the start of a new performance era for the brand.
Suehiro Hasshi, Large Project Leader for the Civic Type R at Honda R&D, builds up the anticipation: “Honda has had four Type R model derivatives – the Civic, Integra, Accord and NSX. The engine in this new Honda Civic Type R is unrivalled against all of them in terms of raw power, torque and engine response.”
So where does all the power come from?
Essentially all this power emanates from the 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine from Honda’s next-generation Earth Dreams Technology series under the bonnet, producing more than 280 PS. (For any fact fans out there, this beats any performances from all previous Type Rs – and that includes all generations of the Civic, the iconic performance-oriented versions of the Integra, Accord and even the NSX.)
The engine, unlike any other from a Honda Type R, has a turbocharger that boosts low-end power yet still manages to comply to the strict Euro 6 emissions regulations; and combining this with the high-end performance that is considered synonymous with Honda’s VTEC technology – and much-loved by fanatical Type R owners – the new Civic Type R promises to deliver a sensational driving experience.
But it’s not just the high-performance engine that will attract customers to the new car as there are also many other engineering innovations and enhancements within the model that makes the new Type R not only a true driver’s car but also one that is more than worthy of wearing the famous red ‘H’ badge.
For example the new Civic type R will be the first Honda model to feature what they have dubbed the new ‘+R’ button which, when pressed (you’ll find it just to the side of the steering wheel) activates ‘+R‘ mode. Especially designed for those drivers looking for a more exhilarating driving experience, ‘+R’ mode heightens both engine responsiveness (via a more aggressive performance-focused setting on the torque mapping) and steering response (itself heightened via the new four-point Adaptive Damper System – which we will reveal more details about below.)
Suehiro Hasshi explains: “In default standard mode, the Civic Type R is exceptionally agile, an everyday sports car with an enjoyable and fluid acceleration. The ‘+R’ button brings out a more dynamic and athletic car for the driver, sure to set pulses racing. The difference in character is immense. The ‘+R’ mode is extreme; the car is ideal for the track and will be appreciated by the genuine sports-driving enthusiast.”
More development is supplied via Honda’s innovative approach to the car’s ‘steer axis’. This is an additional mechanical system that involves the use of two supporting ‘kingpins’ that work together to minimise torque steer, helping not only to deliver the power of the turbocharged 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine, but also allowing the driver to fully exploit the Type R‘s exceptional driveability.
And then, as promised, we have details of the new four-point Adaptive Damper System (specially developed for the new Type R) which gives a comfortable ride whilst cruising and a firm and agile ride with high-performance handling when required courtesy of its ability to automatically adjusts front and rear suspension damping force stiffness in a split second in response to driving conditions.
The new Type R, as with all of its predecessors, features a six-speed manual transmission, as explained by Mr. Hasshi: “The manual transmission allows the driver to select their chosen gear, for example, down from fifth to third when approaching a corner. The concept of the new Civic Type R is to be the complete driver’s car so this was the best option.”
Honda admit that the target market for the Civic Type R is European drivers and will be available from June 2015 having been built at Honda’s state-of-the-art plant in Swindon.