Stay Wild: Refreshed 2020 Honda Civic Type R Doesn't Spoil the Recipe

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
stay wild refreshed 2020 honda civic type r doesnt spoil the recipe

While the braintrust here at TTAC tend to gravitate towards the Honda Civic’s mid-range Si model and its happy-medium combo of performance and restrained styling, some folks want it all. And nothing represents front-wheel drive excess quite like the Civic Type R.

For 2020, the wildest member of the Civic clan undergoes a makeover, staying true to itself while improving the package in a manner that won’t anger any diehards. Honda didn’t go near that wing.

Externally, the incoming refresh reads from a script written by other 2020 Civics. The grille grows slightly in size — a move supposedly aimed at better cooling — while the side vents brighten up the Type R’s face with the addition of a new strip of body-color plastic. Not a lot to see here.

Elsewhere, the changes are more significant. Power remains the same 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft as before, but drivers will be able to put it to use in a more refined manner. Shift throws are now shorter (a six-speed manual remains the only available tranny), steering feel is supposedly upgraded through front suspension friction reduction measures, and the front brakes should be less prone to fade. For 2020, Honda opted for two-piece brake rotors and a new set of pads.

The Type R’s legs also went to the gym. Perhaps aware that many find the Type R to be a little stiff, the automaker updated the front dampers for improved ride comfort. Not everyone spends all day at the track. Actually, almost no one does. Out back, rear suspension bushings gain stiffness to keep the Type R’s butt planted to the pavement.

While drive modes remain the same for 2020, Active Sound Control will now tailor the drivetrain’s in-cabin symphony to those particular modes. Like the rest of the Civic stable, Honda Sensing safety features come as standard kit, adding things like forward collision warning, collision mitigating braking, lane holding, adaptive cruise, and road departure mitigation.

Updated pricing won’t come along until closer to the 2020 Type R’s late-winter on-sale date.

[Images: Honda]

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  • Nedmundo Nedmundo on Jan 10, 2020

    As for a more conservative version, Honda has stated it would expand the Type R range to include one that emphasizes the "GT aspect," which seems like a great idea to me. Unfortunately it hasn't materialized. Nor has an Acura ILX on the 10th gen Civic platform, which conceivably could have included a version along these lines. I think there's room for something like an "Si-R" (a designation they've used in the past) with the Accord's 2.0T and a mellower version of the CTR's suspension with 18" wheels. Price it around $31k. Done!

  • IBx1 IBx1 on Jan 12, 2020

    Such a shame that those giant gaping "holes" in both bumpers are just blocked-off black plastic; painting an unnecessary strip inside it just highlights this fraudulent design.

  • Jim Bonham Full EVs are not for everyone, they cannot meet all needs. Hybrids do a much better job of providing the benefits of EVs without most of the drawbacks. I have a hybrid sedan with plenty of room, plus all the bells and whistles. It has 360 hp, AWD, does 0-60 in just over 5 sec.(the instant torque is a real benefit), and I get 29 mpg, average. NOT driven lightly. I bought it used for $25k.Sure, it's a little heavier because of the battery, motor, etc., but not nearly as much as a full EV. The battery is smaller/lighter/cheaper and both the alternator and starter motor are eliminated since the motor assumes those functions. It's cool to watch the charge guage show I'm getting energy back when coasting and/or braking. It's even cooler to drive around part of the time on battery only. It really comes in handy in traffic since the engine turns off and you don't waste fuel idling. With the adaptive cruise control you just let the car slowly inch along by itself.I only wish it were a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). Then, I'd have A LOT more EV-only range, along with even more of that instant torque. The battery would be bigger, but still a fraction of the size of a full EV. I could easily go weeks without using much, if any gas (depending upon my commute) IF I plug it in every night. But I don't have to. The gas engine will charge the battery whenever it's needed.It's just not as efficient a way to do it.Electric companies offer special rates for both EVs and PHEVs which lower your operating cost compared to gasoline. They'll even give you a rebate to offset the cost of installing a home charger. You can still get federal (up to $7,500, plus some state) tax credits for PHEVs.What's not to like? My next daily driver will be a PHEV of some kind. Probably a performance-oriented one like the new Dodge Hornet or one of the German Hybrid SUVs. All the benefits, sound, feel, etc., of a gas vehicle along with some electric assist to improve fuel economy, performance, and drivability. None of the inherent EV issues of cost, range anxiety, long charging times, poor charger availability, grid capacity issues, etc. I think most people will eventually catch on to this and go PHEV instead of going full EV. Synthetic, carbon-neutral eFuels, hydrogen engines, and other things will also prevent full EVs from being 100% of the fleet, regardless of what the politicians say. PHEVs can be as "clean" (overall) as full EVs with the right fuels. They're also cheaper, and far more practical, for most people. They can do it all, EVs can't.
  • Ron rufo there is in WaSHINGTON STATE
  • ToolGuy @Chris, your photography rocks.
  • ToolGuy No War for Oli.If you have not ever held a piece of structural honeycomb (composite sandwich) in your own hands, try it.
  • ToolGuy You make them sound like criminals.
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