New 316bhp Civic Type R: hits the UK in July for £32k

Latest Honda Civic Type R gets 316bhp and selectable driving modes for the first time with Nürburgring record in its sights

Honda has taken the wraps off its all-new 316bhp Civic Type R at the Geneva Motor Show. The new Type R is based on the new 10th-generation Civic hatchback, and will be built exclusively at the company’s facility in Swindon and exported to markets worldwide including Japan and the USA. Prices will start from round £32,000 when it arrives in UK Honda showrooms in July.

This Honda Civic Type R is the 10th model from the Japanese manufacturer to wear the famous Type R badge since 1992, and Honda has targeted an improvement in overall dynamic performance, high-speed stability and on-track ability for the car.

Honda Civic Type R: engine details

Based on the new architecture that underpins the regular Civic hatchback, the Type R is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder VTEC engine, giving 316bhp – an increase of 10bhp over the outgoing model - and 400Nm of torque. Power is transmitted to the road via a new six-speed manual box and front-wheel drive.

Honda will also attempt to reclaim the Nürburgring lap record for a front-wheel-drive production car. The Volkswagen Golf Clubsport S is the current record-holder with a time of seven minutes and 49 seconds – 1.4 seconds faster than the previous Civic Type R.

Type R project leader Hideki Kakinuma told Auto Express that four-wheel drive was never considered as an option for the hot Civic, despite rivals such as the Ford Focus RS and VW Golf R using it. Performance figures have yet to be announced, but we can expect an improvement over the outgoing Type R’s 0-62mph time of 5.7 seconds.

Honda Civic Type R: driving modes

In a bid to help broaden the appeal of the Type R, Honda has also fitted the new model with adaptive dampers and a range of driving modes for the first time. ‘Comfort’, ‘Sport’ and track-focused ‘R+’ modes alter the steering, throttle, damper and gearshift response. Another new feature is the addition of a rev-matching function, which automatically blips the throttle on downshifts to help smooth gearchanges and maintain momentum.

The added strengthening to the body, paired with the new chassis, also means that torsional rigidity has been increased by 38 per cent. And there’s been an improvement in weight distribution, which Honda says will help make the Type R “deliver the most rewarding drive in the hot-hatch segment”.

The suspension comprises MacPherson struts at the front and an independent multi-link set-up at the rear with strengthened suspension arms. One feature carried over from the outgoing Type R is the high-performance Brembo braking system.

Honda Civic Type R: design

Visually, the new Type R retains its trademark extrovert styling, but Honda claims the new model has a ‘more comprehensive aerodynamic package’ than its predecessor. A smoother underbody, front air curtain and vortex generators on the roof have been added, along with a three-piece exhaust set-up. Alloy wheels as large as 20 inches are also available.

There are more changes inside; the basic dashboard architecture has been carried over from the regular Civic, but Honda has dropped the seating position by 50mm to give a sportier and more involving feel behind the wheel.