By on September 29, 2014

type-r-20140922-front-3qtr-final

As is standard operating procedure for Honda, the Civic Type-R has been revealed, nominally labeled a “concept”, even though the production car will look nearly identical.

This will be the first performance-minded Honda to use forced induction, with a 2.0L VTEC 4-cylinder making in excess of 278 horsepower thanks to turbocharging. Active dampers and a sport mode, dubbed “+R”, will give the new Civic the qualitative chops needed to compete with the Volkswagen Golf GTi, Ford Focus ST and other current generation hot hatches.

North American buyers will likely not get the wild looking hatch seen here, but hopefully the boosted VTEC four-banger makes its way here in the next Civic Si.

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40 Comments on “Honda Civic Type-R Ushers In The Turbo Era...”


  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Sounds like a sweet motor. Now if they’d just bring back the S2000 chassis to put it in. Being an old school guy, I just can’t get psyched over high power fwds, the gods live on only in power oversteer…

  • avatar
    Tosh

    It’s about time Honda wised up and offered the US the 2006 Civic hatch that the rest of the world got. The thing looks like a spaceship even a decade on!
    http://gallery.8thcivic.com/albums/2006_Civic/2006civic_004.sized.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      That thing was a dud everywhere it was offered. Meanwhile, Honda sold about 300,000 Civic sedans a year on average in the US. The sport version of the hatch had a beam axle, an open differential, and giant wheels and tires while our Sis had a helical LSD, multilink IRS, and sidewalls that weren’t too short for our roads. The JDM Type R was a sedan that shared far more with the US models than with the European flops.

      • 0 avatar
        spreadsheet monkey

        Yep, the 2006-11 “FN” Euro Civic was too expensive, too cramped, and had appalling rear visibility, and sold poorly as a result. The previous 2001-05 Civic was none of those things, and sold well in the UK. I had an ’03 and it was great.

        • 0 avatar
          Paul W

          Let me balance it up a bit. There are four (4!) Civics on my street alone and one of them, a 2010, is mine. http://imgur.com/a/RPbDr

          “DUD everywhere” – When introduced in 2006, demand was very high and caused a long waiting list.

          “Too expensive” – Expensive (but on par or slightly cheaper than an equivalent car from VW, Ford or Opel), yes, but the prices on the second hand market are very high as well, so that balances it out.

          “Too cramped” – No, it’s amazing, it looks tiny on the outside but actually quite big on the inside. I’m 6.5 and fit comfortably in the backseat, which is rare. The backseat also tilts up movie theater style. Fits the whole family.

          “Appalling rear visibility” – Yes, that is true. Parking sensors helps a lot though.

          + High quality, serious mechanical and electronic problems are very rare.
          + Excellent handling, one of the most fun cars to drive in its class.
          + Large trunk.
          + Unique styling that has stayed fresh.

          – Noisy (from road and engine)
          – Suspension is a bit stiff

          User surveys show Civic owners are by far more satisfied with their cars than owners of Golf, Focus or Astra.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      No thanks. The Civic we have has an infinitely better suspension, and even weighs about the same, while being roomier and more practical. The Euro Civic hatch is awful and needs to go.

      Truthfully the best Civic Type R was the Type-R sedan that went to Japan. It’s as fast around many tracks as the S2000 & not far off of the NSX.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      It’s a beautiful car indeed (subjective, but at least it ‘sticks out’), that fell hard on it’s face in the European market, because it lacks a brand and has some road noise. But it lacked the smallest engines to be able to compete on price vs European offerings that don’t come with any engine at all…but the 1.4version still gets amazing fuel economy for a gas engine.
      It’s too expensive (and way to good )to go head to head against the Focus/Golf crowd, while still lacking the interior material quality (and brand ) to go against the 1-series and A3.
      The extreme design may also have scared away the people who bought the (very practical and roomy) previous generation that didn’t have any design at all.
      It was(or ‘is’, the ‘new one is just a massive facelift)very roomy for it’s footprint, it even has a large trunk.
      Some Americans keep mentioning the rear suspension being sub-par compared to the US Civic, but compared to most European hatchbacks it still doesn’t have any serious competition (apart from Ford, and Fords are a big part of the reason VW has a reputation for reliability in Europe), and the ‘Fit’ rear suspension also brought with it the Fits practicality and ‘magic’ rear seats.
      Maybe the best thing about the ’07 Civics were Hondas lack of a small diesel angine, that ‘forced’ them to offer the 2.2 Diesel from the TSX/Accord and CR-V in the Civic. 140 hp and 250lbs/ft in a compact hatchback is close to being a muscle car by European standards, especially when ‘chiptuned’ to 175 hp.
      (it would easily, and legally tow my 3000 pound caravan if I wanted to.
      Pearls for swine is what is was/is. And the few that were sold will stay on the used car market until all the Golfs and Focii of it’s generation has been recycled, if statistics are anything to go by…

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        “Beautiful,” in this case, could hardly be more subjective.

        Had you used an adjective such as “funky,” or better yet “bold,” I wouldn’t have got all hopped up, but this looks like a$$ ***IMO***.

        And btw, VTEC, direction injection AND turbo about to kick in, yo!

        • 0 avatar
          Zykotec

          Oh, I was talking about the original design that came with the ’07’s
          http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/07/Honda_Civic_Sport_Milanored.JPG
          This facelift is more of an ‘oh, you plebians need a car with a grille, well, here are some fender flares too, to remove everything we originally liked about it…’
          The type R is just ‘Funky’ or ‘Bold’ at best (which is still totally OK with me btw)

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Why did Honda lose its collective sanity and feel compelled to go demonic pokemon with a Galaxy Quest dashboard by Playskool/Nintendo, to boot?

            The early Type-R Civics where competent and tastefully styled.

          • 0 avatar

            @DeadWeight

            Desperation for lack of sales?

            wmba pretty much explains Honda in Europe, specifically the UK, a few Honda posts back (if you are interested). I’m not gonna knock Zykotec, as its his opinion and he’s entitled to it, but lots of people see Hinda differently.

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            I definitely agree that most people see Honda differently from me. I seriously respect their cars ( and I usually buy Hondas when I get tired, or physically hurt, by working on beatiful well handling euro-crap), but I do see why they fail in the market, and I think it’s really sad, because by most objective standards their cars are ‘better’ than the competition. I’m mostly a Ford Fanboi, who despises fwd cars, but with a brother that owns a jdm ’98-spec Type-R integra, which is a car that it’s really hard to not like, or even be indifferent about.
            It’s complicated…

          • 0 avatar

            It is complicated Zykotec, because there is no objectivity, or it’s very hard, outside the reliability numbers that bear you out. I don’t really know the sportier Hondas (only know the Civic Si – too hard, too loud, too poor, joyous shifter and engine, not to mention too expensive here in Brazil), but the main point of contention is poor design (internal and external), so-so handling (too hard for city and only likes good asphalt), too much noise, not an economy leader anymore and very poor cost/benefit (high price, low content, poor materials). Until they work on that, they don’t have much of a future in Europe, though they are still going here and the badge is seen as little better, by some, than the other mainstream makers (but not close to BMW or Volvo, for that matter, either). Anecdotal to be sure, but here I see lots buying Honda, but few repeating (I see more repeating Toyotas for example).

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            When I say ‘objectively’ I mean things like interior space, engine efficiency, fuel efficiency, reliability, ease of use, and features compared to price. Their problems in Europe are very similar to Acuras problems in the US. They lack direction, and to a certain degree advertising, and a oconsistent design language.
            As I said, the Civic seems to fall right in between the ‘mainstream’ offerings, and basic ‘premium’ cars, meaning they end up being either too expensive, or lacking the brand and interior material quality (and sound insulation). In addition, being a small manufacturer in Europe means they don’t offer the same diversity in options or engines as the larger manufacturers do. Add to this that European car buyers are extremely conservative (Fiats are still regarded as rust-buckets, since their problems in the ’70s. Citroen never gets past their electrical issues in the early ’90’s and Ford Escorts from Brazil in the late 80’s still haunt Ford today)
            Not to mention, the people why would buy a Honda after owning a great one for 7-10 years, don’t recognize the new car that is offered when they trade in their old one…
            Honda build great cars, but they relly s**k at selling them.

          • 0 avatar

            So there we go again, and again we don’t get the Civic hatch, so I’m talking more about the sedans and extrapolating. Engines here may be different than there and we don’t use diesel in passenger cars, but as the competition has moved on and Honda has largely stopped using the 1.8 going to the 2.0, Hondas are fast becoming a reputation for thirsty, in diametrical opposition to where they were 10 years ago. Also, they used to be very fast, but again, competitors’ new engines have caught up and passed. Internally, the Civic had good spcae compared to Focus or Golf, but then compare to the French or even the Bravo. Haven’t been in a Civic hatch since the 90s, but the trunk in the City is a major impediment to sales here. So, they’re not bad, but even the objective measurements are not mostly better than competitors, but among the best in some areas, among the worst in worst in others, or, in other words, just like the rest of the cars in the segment, it doesn’t stand out. Where it stands out is price, crazy expensive. And contents, woefully low. Maybe Norway is different than Brazil, but here you are hard pressed to find a car with such little content as Honda. They always lose out in that comparison.

            If Honda really believes the are a sort of jr BMW, they really have to improve too much.

          • 0 avatar

            And oh, Zykotec, never heard about troubles with the Brazilian Escorts exported. What were the problems?

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            I’m too young to remember exactly what was the problem with the Brazilian Escorts, but there aren’t many (if any?) left now, and VW still has a better reputation for reliability than Ford, so it must have been pretty severe…

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I don’t want to come off as prudish, but I don’t believe this is the appropriate venue to be discussing Brazilian escorts.

          • 0 avatar

            Thanks Zykotec. I was pretty young too, but I do seem to remember there was a period there were Ford took a knocking for problems. The story I remember was that there was a strike and workers sabotaged some cars, building them in suac a way as the cars would have trouble down the road and not immediately. Don’t know if there any reality to this story.

            Here Fords are seen as pretty reliable (at least as much as VW) though somewhat more fragile and more expensive to fix than VW.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            @DeadWeight

            Hondas of yore were designed and engineered by representatives of their target market. Scratching their own itches. That’s the way all good products are designed.

            Nowadays, since they stopped having kids altogether a few decades ago and are way to xenophobic to allow even a single immigrant, the youngest man in Japan is rapidly closing in on 65. The youngest engineer and designer is probably there already. So, when the design a car for young people/small families, it’s all second hand assumptions about what buyers want. A bunch of grandpas looking in horror at their grandkids’ fascination with Pokemon and weird videogames. So, they design a car to look like what they think them kids want…..

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            I must admit I giggled at both VoGo and stukis comments.
            To be honest, I always had the feeling Hondas were engineered brilliantly by people why didn’t really drive cars, or were interested in cars they way ‘we’ are.
            They did have an interest in racing though, and they loved showing off their engine building skills, so that made them more interesting than other Japanese makers to a lot of us. But their arrogance were sometimes only mathced by their honesty.
            The new EU civic is as far as I know designed and engineered to a large degree in Europe, by Europeans, but they are working for a niche brand that are struggling to maintain interest in a place where Audi and BMW releases a new model every forthnight. It’s a pretty risky move to make it this extreme, lets see how it pays off for them…

          • 0 avatar

            @stuki: I work with Japanese engineers all the time and never dealt with 65 y.o. They are same age as US engineers. In Yokohama where I usually fly on business trips most people on (actually under) streets are young. I know that in Korea and Japan older people do not live in cities (younger too – they commute more than 1 hour in one direction which is considered as a normal commute). They come to work before 9.00am, leave at about 10pm most days of the week. Add there 2-4 hours of commute in overcrowded public transportation so you get the picture – can old people sustain this kind of lifestyle? Yes they keep older people because they care about them and not throwing them on the street as in US and they are proud of their country and culture and do not want it to be destroyed. But there are immigrant including illegal ones.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Silly ass wing reminds me of the pincers on the butt of an earwig.

    It’d be cooler if they just put some big, curvy shogun horns on it.

  • avatar

    I can hardly wait to see this at my local dealer, with a 10k market adjustment sticker on it.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      My Honda dealer never puts this kind of twerp bait in the showroom. They park the little coupes on the grass by the curb. You just get used to pulling in past these lawn gnomes without ever noticing them.

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        The ‘Twerps’ can have these FWD menaces, they need to be planted in the grass front end first in a line and call it expressionistic art, that is the only way that goobered… err ‘Silly Assed’ wing will look good. In such an orientation it would make a great pigeon perch.

        Now if they were to offer AWD like my old 323GTX they would have my attention.

  • avatar
    Chris FOM

    This is impossible. We’ve been repeatedly assured that turbos are a guaranteed reliability nightmare/engine grenade waiting to happen and that Honda would never go this route.

  • avatar
    Varezhka

    As a fan of 1983-86 Honda City Turbo II, I beg to differ about the “first performance-minded Honda to use forced induction” part.

    It would be nice if we can get a new Civic hatch over here again (minus the silly graphics, over-sized wheels, and the rear wings), though. Our last Civic hatch was, what, 10 years ago?

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    Here’s the first part of the halo-car effort for Honda’s return to F-1 next year… “turbos”. Part 2 is “KERS”… whenever the NSX shows up.

  • avatar
    dragthemagicpuffin

    It’s about time, I guess. As a certain cartoon rabbit once taught me, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”

  • avatar

    Matte black finish… with a Batman logo on the doors?

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    With SH-AWD this could make the ILX a legit alternative to cars like the 328i & Golf R. As is, not sure if SRS.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      The graphics on the sides does make it look a bit ridiculous, but I agree it could make a nice base for an ILX hatch with a few modifications. Remove some practicality and add some comfort with the US rear suspension, and make it a three door, give it some electric torque for the rear wheels so that the total available acceleration can keep up with the competition, and call it an Integra…

  • avatar
    WheelMcCoy

    So how will it work?

    “VTEC just kicked in, yo!” followed by “Turbo just kicked in, yo!”

    or the other way around?

  • avatar
    wmba

    Honda. Holds forehead.

    “Wake up!”


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