WHAT’S NEW

Mercury (Hobart) - Motoring - - COVER STORY -

PRICE

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.

TECH

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.)

PER­FOR­MANCE

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.

DRIV­ING

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.

DE­SIGN

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.

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