More Details: New Civic Type-R

More Details: Civic Type R Turbo

You may have read the previous post about the hotly anticipated new Civic Type-R. Honda have just released more details about what to expect from their forthcoming hot hatch.

When the car was previously confirmed, the internet was rife with speculation rather than actual facts about what the car would have to offer, however Honda’s press release clarifies the full list of features.

Honda themselves describe the car as being the “most extreme and high performing Type-R yet”, and have confirmed the 280PS power output from the 2.0 i-VTEC turbo. Thankfully they've also confirmed a proper manual 6 speed gearbox in an effort to reaffirm this is a proper drivers car.

In addition to having a potentially excellent engine, the car also has a fancy handling package designed to combine performance and comfort . The Civic has a proprietary four-point adaptive damper system that automatically adapts damper rates which, Honda claims, reconciles a comfortable ride with high-performance handling.

Honda have also incorporated a steering-wheel mounted “R+” button which activates a more aggressive torque map as well as adjusting steering and damper settings

The pointlessness of such a button has been debated on Twitter with some people believing that performance is kind of the point of the Type-R brand so why would you turn it off?

I kind of agree. Having had different cars with switchable performance settings such as different maps and boost settings, I started out thinking I’d only use the high performance settings “when needed”. Unfortunately, anyone else who has had such features will be familiar with this weak attempt to fool yourself. What actually happens is you always set it to the highest performance setting available and immediately start wondering how you can increase the power output of the upper settings even further. That said, I can totally see why Honda have fitted the R+ button. I doubt it’s ever designed to not be used, it’s just a gadget that appeals to those of us that are interested in these kind of cars. Just because it might be a bit pointless, doesn't mean it won’t feel fun to use it.

The closer this car get’s to production, the more I like the spec of it. I have to say that the four exhausts and giant spoiler are a bit “ASBO” for my tastes but I’m much more about function over form anyway. The only thing which concerns me, which is not clear from the press release, is what the weight of the car will be with all these added features. One of the things that made the EP3 so fun to drive is that it’s a couple of hundred kilos lighter than competitor cars in it’s class. If Honda can turn these new Type-Rs out at a similar weight to the EP3 Type-Rs then I think the new Civic could be a real b-road weapon that will be a lot of fun to drive.

What do you think, clever, performance oriented track toy? Or gimicky hot hatch for the fast & the furious generation? Leave your comments below.