This is the first Honda Civic Type R in Australia since the 2007-12 model, which cost $39,990 plus on-roads. The 2017 edition, based on the 10th generation Civic hatch, is $50,990 plus on-roads.
The one local model comes with radar cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assistance, left lane camera, front and rear parking sensors, rear view camera, G force meter, lap timer, Apple Car Play and Android Auto. (Not available: built-in navigation, rear cross traffic alert and blind spot warning.)
The 2.0-litre turbo makes 228kW/400Nm. Australia’s lower quality fuel means we don’t get the 235kW of the Europeans but torque is the same. Six-speed manual, the sole transmission, turns a limited-slip front differential.
Honda claims a 0-100km/h time of 5.7 seconds; our best was 6.2. The single-scroll turbo means old-school turbo lag is prominent below 4000rpm. Above 4000rpm it’s a missile, all the way to the 7000rpm red-line.
Every vent, bulge, fin and wing (except the fake mesh in the rear bumper) serves an aerodynamic purpose, says Honda. The bonnet vent pushes hot air out of the engine bay, under the car and out the side fender vents. Other vents and wings reduce turbulence near the front and rear wheels. The massive rear wing is critical for stability above 200km/h. Honda says the Type R is the only frontdrive hot hatch with “genuine downforce”. The middle of three tailpipes is designed to reduce exhaust drone at freeway speeds.