R586 400 o what sort of money are we talking about? Well, the Ferrari 488 GTB will set you back more than R4.9 million, with the Porsche 911 Turbo S going for just over R3 million. Choose the German car over the Italian and “save” R2 million.
You’re doing well there, bargain hunter. But now compare R3 million to a measly R586 400 for the Honda Civic Type R. Looking good, sharpshooter! You can almost afford your Sandton mortgage again.
At under R600 000, though, can a fourdoor “hot hatch” be anywhere as good as, say, an entry-level Porsche Cayman at R883 000? The answer is yes, because the Honda Civic Type R is about as close to the family-spec Civic your cousin drives as Kanye West is to Amber Rose these days.
The Honda is endowed with a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine that delivers an explosive 228kW of power and 400Nm of torque. That’s much better than the Cayman’s 202kW and meagre 290Nm. The Honda isn’t just a straight-road special either. Its advanced suspension gives it tremendous grip, as I discovered on Cape Town’s Killarney racetrack. With each consecutive lap, I pressed the accelerator deeper into the carpet, and still the wheels stuck to the asphalt like molten chocolate to a mohair blanket. No wonder the Type R was the fastest front-wheel drive production car on the world’s most gruelling racetrack – the Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany.
Its OTT racing car looks aside, the Type R makes for a decent daily drive. The suspension isn’t too hard and the engine can be docile when you want it to be. Its only flaws are excessive tyre noise at speeds above 80km/h and the bucket seats can become uncomfortable to the wide of hip. The Civic Type R doesn’t have the visual subtlety or status of a Porsche, but it’s one of the best sports cars on sale today.
The Porsche 911 Turbo S
SWEET DEAL The Civic Type R