In the Black

The cur­rent Civic Type R is not go­ing qui­etly, as finds out

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Kentmotors -

The Type R has never been a shrink­ing vi­o­let. Honda clearly wanted to make a state­ment with the styling. A very loud state­ment. Those add-ons are not just for show, how­ever. The vents, cut-outs, nearly flat un­der­floor, front split­ter, rear dif­fuser and out­ra­geous rear wing all work to­wards re­duc­ing drag and im­prov­ing down­force and, con­se­quently, pro­duc­ing a stonk­ing ride.

All good things must come to an end, how­ever, and the cur­rent Civic – and the fire­breath­ing Type R – is no ex­cep­tion.

To mark the end of pro­duc­tion the last 100 mod­els to roll off the as­sem­bly line have been pro­vided with a lit­tle more vis­ual drama to make them, ahem, stand out from the crowd a bit more.

Called the Type R Black Edi­tion the lim­ited run is, er, black with red de­tail­ing on the rear wing and red flour­ishes in the cabin. And that’s it. There are no me­chan­i­cal tweaks so it drives and han­dles just like ev­ery other Type R from the cur­rent crop. In other words it’s just as much of a hooli­gan as its sib­lings.

In the Black Edi­tion you’ll find flashes of red ev­ery­where you look – the steer­ing wheel, the vent sur­rounds, the seats – and though there is al­ways the risk of but it’s rea­son­ably well re­strained and does spice up the cabin a touch.

The seats are won­der­fully snug and com­fort­able. With more black than red – the op­po­site to the stan­dard Type R fur­ni­ture – they look pretty spe­cial too.

Based on the GT, LED head­lights, cruise con­trol, cli­mate con­trol, key­less en­try and ig­ni­tion, Blue­tooth, sat nav and re­vers­ing cam­era are stan­dard.

You also get park­ing sen­sors front and rear, auto lights and wipers, front and rear park­ing sen­sors, dual zone cli­mate con­trol as well as a host of ad­di­tional safety fea­tures that in­cludes blind spot in­di­ca­tors, for­ward col­li­sion and lane de­par­ture warn­ing and cross traf­fic mon­i­tor.

The split-fold­ing rear bench srows away with lit­tle fuss to cre­ate a flat load space that will swal­low 1,427 litres. Even with them in place you can still carry an im­pres­sive 498 litres.

This is a car that will be bought not for its prac­ti­cal­ity but for its per­for­mance and the Type R does not dis­ap­point. The zero to 62mph sprint takes just 5.7 sec­onds – no mean feat when you’re chan­nel­ing all that torque through just the front tyres – while the top speed, where the law al­lows, is 167mph.

Mid-range punch is as­ton­ish­ing while the ride is per­fectly ac­cept­able on most jour­neys, de­spite its stiff­ness, but over bumpier sur­faces through towns and cities it can get a lit­tle wear­ing.

It’s through the tight and twisty stuff that the Type R re­ally shows what it’s about, par­tic­u­larly if you press a handy lit­tle but­ton marked +R that turns the dash light­ing from white to deep, an­gry red.

It also makes the throt­tle more re­spon­sive, adds weight to what is al­ready pretty meaty steer­ing and stiff­ens up the dampers by 30 per cent.

It turns the Type R into a hard­core racer. It is nim­ble, re­ac­tive and fo­cused. Trac­tion from the low pro­file tyres is im­pres­sive and the steer­ing ac­cu­rate. The brakes have im­mense stop­ping power. It’s all tied to­gether with a poised, com­mu­nica­tive chas­sis.

With just 100 Black Edi­tion Type Rs up for grabs you’ll be lucky to get your hands on one but, if you like your cars loud and proud then it would prove well worth the ef­fort to try and lay your hands on what could prove to be a very col­lectable piece of ma­chin­ery.

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