In the Black
The current Civic Type R is not going quietly, as finds out
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.