By on March 7, 2017

2017 Civic Type R (European Version)

If you’re an enthusiast in your thirties, there’s a good chance you’ve coveted Honda’s Civic Type R from a distance for the majority of your adult life. While the Civic Si made it to North American shores, it seemed like the whole rest of the world was enjoying its racier sibling without us. I personally knew at least two people in high school who stuck false Type R badges onto unsporting Civics, rounding out the lie with cheap aftermarket rims and a noisy exhaust.

The opportunity for those dishonest people to redeem themselves is now closer than ever. Honda has finally dished on the Civic, reassuring westerners that this Type R will be true to form while reminding us that the wait is nearly over. Just make sure you’ve budgeted some extra dough for new front tires and are practicing your lift-off oversteer technique.

Of course, that’s because the 2018 Honda Type-R will be front-wheel drive — like all Civics before it. Spinning those front wheels will be a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder i-VTEC motor making 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. According to the automaker, the engine is focused on mid-range punch, with peak torque coming in between 2,500 and 4,500 rpm. However, as this is a VTEC, peak power doesn’t arrive until 6,500 rpm.

Purists will be pleased to find that the sole transmission choice is a short-throw six-speed manual aided by rev matching and a lower final gear ratio than the car’s previous incarnation. Honda also saw fit to include a single-mass flywheel that it claims reduces clutch inertia by 25 percent.

Further proving that this Civic is special are model-exclusive spring, damper and bushing settings, with an upgraded front front suspension that includes aluminum lower arms and steering knuckles. Honda says this reduces dreaded toque steer while enhancing cornering on the bleeding edge of what’s stable. There is also a new four-wheel adaptive suspension system, limited-slip differential, and dual-pinion electric steering offering variable ratios.

The new car’s body is also more than 40 percent more rigid than the old European Civic Type R.

2017 Civic Type R (European Version)

Attached to the car are 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels wrapped in 245/30R 20 Continental ContiSportContact 6 performance rubber — which are on par with Michelin Pilot Super Sports. Front mounted Brembo aluminum calipers grab cross-drilled 350mm rotors while the rears squeeze solid 305mm disks.

While this is certainly a track-oriented vehicle, the three selectable drive modes include a comfort setting in addition to the R+ race mode and the default sport setup. The modes adjust steering and throttle response, rev matching, electronic stability control, and the adaptive damper system’s presets.

Available only in a singular premium touring trim in the 5-door bodystyle, the Civic Type R goes on sale in North America late in spring, aimed squarely at every other super-hot hatchback currently on sale. While some might assume the all-wheel drive Focus RS, Golf R, and WRX STI might be off-limits, my gut tells me any driver familiar with at-the-limit FWD handling will find the Type R more than capable of keeping pace.

The 2017 Civic Type R will make its U.S. debut at the New York International Auto Show on April 12, and is currently viewable at the Geneva International Motor Show. While a few minor things could change by then — the vehicle in these images is the Euro-spec model — it’s a safe bet that none of them will alter the Civic’s rap sheet in any meaningful way, as the data Honda provided was in metric and imperial units.

2017 Civic Type R (European Version)

[Images: Honda]

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49 Comments on “Geneva 2017: Honda’s Civic Type R Lands in American Driveways This Spring...”


  • avatar
    OldManPants

    “Lands in American Driveways This Spring”

    From hopefully not too great a height. All that plastic break off!

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Lands… at what price? Hey, at least this is 2-liter

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      No word. My best guess is just north of $30,000.

      • 0 avatar

        Plus ADP and floor mats and wax and interior treatment plus paint sealer plus uprated rimz….if the Mugen from years ago was anything to go by, 10k plus…..

      • 0 avatar
        Drew8MR

        At least here in SoCal they will be getting a huge dealer mark up. I was chatting with a Honda sales manager at the car wash and he said they have more deposits than allocations by a fair bit already. He is expecting a much higher average mark up than the RS was getting, at least in this market.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    There was a time when Honda styling was so simple and attractive.
    Even the Odyssey was attractive in a minivan way.
    Now it’s designers gone wild.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    To me, this car is no-starter. While I may like it, and I love small cars with big performance, I also have hint of practicality in me. The tires for this thing are just way too-expensive. And they averaging 300 UTQG. Spending $1500-2000 every 2 years on a tire job is not cool.

  • avatar
    jdowmiller

    This is the ugliest car I’ve ever seen.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    If this thing was any more overwrought it’d be iron. What on earth are they thinking?

  • avatar
    Ianw33

    The more I see of this car, the less it appeals to me. It makes the Focus RS appear restrained.

    With that said, it will most likely be a great performer for what it is.

    I guess I am just getting old and starting to not pine after boy racer looks.

    Maybe the Si will be a happy medium.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    This is not remotely for me. I like subtlety.

    But I kind of like that Honda has the cojones to do it. I hope it helps them break out of the ultraconservative funk they’ve been in for a decade or so.

    In terms of performance, a lot is riding on how much it weighs. If it can be meaningfully lighter than its AWD competition, that could help it a lot.

    • 0 avatar
      Haze Grey

      I agree, it’s going to come down to weight. The regular civic weighs around 2700-3000 lbs depending on configuration.

      The Focus RS is about 3500 lbs
      Focus ST is 3250
      WRX STI is 3400
      WRX is 3300
      Golf R is 3300-3400
      GTI is 3200

      While none of these are exactly like the Civic R I think it is fair to call them competition as they could easily be cross shopped. The upcoming Civic Si which is more subdued visually might also eat up some sales.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Looks like a Veloster from the back.

    This is really putting peoples resolve to the test if they’ve ever said they want a car for what it is, not for what it looks like.

    Personally, I am through with turbos and so this car is no longer in my ever closing window of interest.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    OK, everyone seems to like “subtlety” but there isn’t a single Q-ship in this bunch.

    Folks who buy these cars LIKE the Toretto treatment.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “there isn’t a single Q-ship in this bunch.”

      You mean no Q-ship owners complaining here?

      I googled Q-ship and got old tin boats. So I added Infiniti (guess work) and got a huge, sort of squarish elephant transporter.

      Do you mean that elephant transporter is a paragon of “subtlety”?

      • 0 avatar
        carlisimo

        Q-ships were merchant ships with hidden weapons to surprise U-boats that thought they’d found easy prey. Sleepers.

        Civic Type Rs of the ’90s looked relatively subtle. The previous JDM Civic Type R (the sedan, not the Fit-based Euro-market hatch) was also fairly conservative aside from the wing. I would have preferred that approach.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          Military Q-ships are a relatively obscure aspect of WWII so I’m not sure that’s what he meant. Of course I could easily be wrong.

          I’ve seen the term before on TTAC and got the impression it referred to some Infiniti model or other.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Did they have those in the Civil War too? I figure you’d know.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Didn’t have a lot of U-Boats nor a lot of merchant convoys for them to prey upon so I’m gonna say no.

            Closest thing might have been well-armed Confederate blockade runners importing weapons and luxuries from Europe and its colonies that could give a hard time to Yankee vessels trying to intercept them.

            I’m real rusty on this, though.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Q-ships were a WWI thing, OMP. At the beginning of the war, u-boats would surface when they attacked merchant boats to warn them (for real). So the Brits started arming merchant vessels. When they tried it on a Q-ship, they’d get fired on. They stopped the “warnings” at that point.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Yeah.. brain fart me.

            But WWI, WWII… same war, long half-time.

          • 0 avatar

            Q ship is any boring lookng car with a surprise. Think the 240 Volvo wagon with a V8 underhood. The Caprice/Regal with the LS engines. You can drive a four door sedan in a dull color twice as fast as a smurf blue M Car or kermit green Lambo, just because your boring car won’t cheeze off people who will call you into the State Police mostly out of jealousy

          • 0 avatar
            Advance_92

            It was a pretty common auto journalist term in the 80s and 90s, though.

    • 0 avatar
      jeanbaptiste

      Not sure what the bunch is but Golf R is about as q-ship as modern cars get.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        Yeah… what “bunch”?

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          True, forgot about the Golf R. Good point. But…Focus RS? WRX STI? Or the Evo?

          Those are all about as subtle as a hammer to the big toe. People who buy cars like this generally want to show off. This Civic fits right in.

          • 0 avatar
            Drew8MR

            This thing makes my VIII look like a rental Malibu, especially with the wing removed. The hood vent and maybe the intercooler are the only garish design elements, the fender flares are nothing nowadays.

  • avatar
    stuki

    I’m sure it will be a fun drive. All up until the franticness of it all, starts getting irritating.

    But for young, hardcore track and/or “import culture” guys, who very well may not “need” a car as much as “like” them, it’s probably just the ticket. Do enough trackdays, and the straights that were initially fun to blast down pedal on the floor, starts becoming too long and boring in a FiST or Si class, more “practical” yet still sporty vehicle. Ditto for hotdogging at car nights.

    So, as a combination Ferrari/Ariel substitute for the don’t-yet-need-Viagra set, it’s kind of cool. The fact that it can also kinda-sorta-if-I-squint pretend to be a practical vehicle (compared to an Atom at least…) for a mile or two here and there, is just a bonus.

  • avatar
    AK

    Looks stupid.

    I like it.

  • avatar
    bluegoose

    I think this is car is for people in their 20s who have some disposable income…and own all the Fast and Furious movies. I am in my early 40s. If I was going to go FWD performance I would buy the Focus ST or the Fiesta ST. The Three Hole exhaust treatment on this Civic R is an interesting touch. Big Pipe Small Pipe Big Pipe. Has anyone else ever done this?

    Honda is quickly approaching dear departed Pontiac in terms of Plastic Fashion. Honda builds excitement.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I battle torque steer in my ’09 Clubman S (170 something hp). Also full throttle on less-than-even roads can be a handful. 300hp must be crazy “fun”.

    How do the V6 FWDers like the Camry, Accord, etc handle this? Does the extra weight make the difference? Or equal drive shafts?

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      I think the midsized V6 sedans are more about having that V6 feel at 2000rpm. I’ve only driven older models but they did not have the right suspension setup for hard driving at all.

    • 0 avatar
      ozzypriest

      divideby, I had a tuned MKVII GTI that made ~ 290/300+ hp/tq, and it barely exhibited torque steer at all, even under full throttle. Some car makers are just have clever engineering. Oh, wait, I probably shouldn’t say that about VW.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Trying to look past the ugly (which is very difficult) but did I read that correctly? 20″ wheels on a Civic? Has the world gone MAD? 300 HP in a FWD vehicle doesn’t make much sense either but want happened to hatches being 2 doors? At least it sounds like Honda finally fixed it’s lack of torque problem. This thing is going to be quick.

  • avatar
    DearS

    I’d buy it for sure. The styling is bit much, but if past Type-Rs are any indication this is going to be one very well sorted car.

  • avatar
    SnarkyRichard

    I’ve read the price will be in the high 30s for this hideous looking car that looks like it was designed for Pokemon . What exactly is that middle rear exhaust pipe for , to spit out an actual can of fart spray ? And why is it a 4 door ? Did Pokemon have Pokekids ? The lights on the rear hatch don’t align with the tail lights on the right side , poor fit and finish for a Honda .

  • avatar
    orick

    20″ wheels is silly on a little car like that. And only offering will probably limit the market for this car. But I like it. Don’t care what the neighbor think.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    To all the hand-wringers and pearl-clutchers here:

    patience is very likely your friend; there’s no way Acura will not make an ILX-S out of this.

    And a hi-po Civic in adult clothes is a wonderful thing.

  • avatar
    cdrmike

    Is the fart rocket muffler standard or an option?

  • avatar
    markf

    20 inch rims, why Honda? Why?

  • avatar
    Dr. Claw

    I love it.

    Really, my only complaint is not about this particular “Type R” model, but of the Civic hatch in general; it’s a “rounded” hatch type, like the last FK2 Civic. But that’s minor. That it’s a hatch, not a coupe or sedan, is the barrier to poseur adoption that cars like this need (see: Focus ST/RS, Fiesta ST, Golf in general)

    The EK or EP3 (lookswise) is ideal. FN2 sedan is anathema.

    Leave the “conventional looks” to the Si and below.

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