2015 sees the arrival of the world’s most keenly anticipated hot hatch, the Honda Civic Type R.
The Type R features an all-new, direct-injected turbocharged 2.0 litre VTEC TURBO petrol engine, delivering class leading power, torque and performance figures.
Peak power output is 310 PS at 6,500 rpm, with peak torque is 400 Nm at 2,500 rpm – both higher than for any previous Honda Type R model. Time for 0-to-100 km/h (62 mph) is just 5.7 seconds – making the Civic Type R the fastest accelerating performance front-wheel drive hatchback – and top speed, where permitted, is 270 km/h (167 mph).
The new engine is mated to the renowned Honda Civic slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission. The car managed to lap the legendary 20.8 km/12.9 mile Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany in 7 minutes 50.63 seconds – a time that betters all front-wheel drive performance hatchbacks.
Function dictating form in new model
Styling changes give an aggressive, purposeful stance to the Civic Type R, yet almost all have a functional purpose. The sleek and aerodynamically-efficient design reflects a car developed to perform at speed.
To achieve this aim, the Type R was subject to exhaustive aerodynamic analysis, testing and development through computer-based CFD modelling and wind tunnel testing at Honda’s dedicated automotive motorsports facility in Sakura, Japan, which is also the home of Honda’s Formula One engine development.
This development work was validated through prototype testing both on the road and on track, including at the Suzuka Formula One circuit, the Nürburgring Nordschleife and at Honda’s Takasu test facility.
An almost completely flat underside to the car aids airflow and combines with the rear diffuser to create downforce. The rear wing angle, height and shape as well as its vertical end plates are engineered to optimise downforce without any significant increase in drag. This helps to improve road-holding abilities, notably through high-speed corners.
A wide front splitter and deep side skirts manage airflow to reduce lift, and the front bumper has been shaped to inhibit air turbulence around the front wheels, to enhance high-speed stability and reduce lift forces.
Five colours include Championship White, Crystal Black (pearlescent), Polished Metal (metallic), Brilliant Sporty Blue (metallic) and Milano Red.
New cabin has sporting ambience
Aesthetic and functional upgrades inside the cabin underline the Type R’s sporting character. The gear lever knob is made from machined aluminium alloy. High-backed sports seats, trimmed in suede-effect black fabric with red double stitching, give driver and front-seat passenger good lateral support for harder cornering.
Matching red double stitching also appears on the black leather-clad steering wheel and black gear-lever gaiter. The roof-lining is trimmed in black fabric, augmenting the focused ambience.
New suspension technology
A number of unique new suspension systems have been introduced to give more rewarding handling characteristics and to maximise transfer of power onto the road.
A new four-point Adaptive Damper System enables continuous independent control of each wheel t improve road holding performance, limit wheel-load transfer during sharp acceleration and deceleration, and maintain a stable, flat ride. The dampers also mean that the ride is more comfortable and supple for everyday driving.
An advanced Dual Axis Strut Front Suspension system reduces torque steer by 50 per cent compared to the standard Civic’s suspension set up, enhancing high speed stability, on-the-limit cornering and improving the steering feel. At the back, the H-shaped torsion beam suspension is constructed with a special ‘crushed pipe’ to improve rear roll rigidity by 180 per cent, and this helps to enhance stability in high-speed corners.
New ‘+R’ mode
The new Civic Type R marks the debut of the ‘+R’ button to increase the response of various chassis and drivetrain systems. Engine responsiveness is heightened, with torque-mapping changed to a more aggressive and performance-focused setting. The steering receives less power assistance to become more responsive to driver input, and damping force is increased by 30 per cent. All this means that the handling of the car is firmer and more agile.
- The Honda Civic Type R will be on sale across Europe from this summer.