:4 Miguel Cortina: Man­ag­ing Edi­tor, Mo­tor Trend en Espa–ol What a great car! The Type R sends the mes­sage that front-wheel-drive cars can be just as fun to drive.ó

Motor Trend (USA) - - 2018 Best Driver’s Car - Words Frank Markus

In the decade we’ve been run­ning BDC, we’ve in­vited only 10 front-drive cars to com­pete. They tend not to do well against reardrive or all-wheel-drive cars that han­dle bet­ter and put down power more au­thor­i­ta­tively. No pre­vi­ous front-driver has made a judge won­der, “Could this be our first front-drive win­ner?”

This lit­tle Honda did.

“The Type R is per­haps the best front-drive, fac­tory-de­liv­ered car I’ve ever driven on a race­track,” a grin­ning Randy Pobst gushed. “It was a thrill. This whole car be­haves as if it costs a whole lot more than it does. It’s swing­ing way above its fight­ing weight.” An­gus Macken­zie de­clared it “the best front­drive hot hatch in the world. Pe­riod. The pow­er­train gets the head­lines, but it’s the chas­sis that makes this car spe­cial.” Chris Wal­ton said it “feels like a de­tuned rally car.”

Edi­tor log­books over­flowed with hy­per­bole for the bet­ter-than-mi­ata’s short-throw shifter, the all-day-comfy sup­port­ive seat, and the Vtec/turbo en­gine’s un­canny ea­ger­ness to pull hard to red­line. Ev­ery­one ap­pre­ci­ated how un­flap­pable the body is in +R mode and how re­mark­ably sup­ple the ride qual­ity is in Com­fort and Sport modes.

The Type R missed a podium fin­ish for two eas­ily reme­died rea­sons. Both Pobst and Jethro Bov­ing­don wished for at least a whiff of trail­ing-throt­tle over­steer—a tool driv­ers could reach for when the front starts to run a bit wide. A slightly stiffer rear anti-roll bar should do the trick. Sec­ond, this car, like sev­eral Type Rs that Pobst has lapped, pegged its tem­per­a­ture gauge. A Honda rep in­ti­mated that the dig­i­tal gauge may be overly con­ser­va­tive. In­deed, the power never fal­tered, no coolant was dis­gorged, and lift­ing for two cor­ners un­pegged the gauge. Oh, and not ev­ery­one was crazy about the en­gine note.

Ed Loh summed up the Type R: “That all this per­for­mance comes from a 2.0-liter turbo pow­er­ing only the front wheels—and that there are four seat belts and a huge trunk—rep­re­sents a greater feat of en­gi­neer­ing than the ZR1.”

RACE-RED-Y Grippy red “suede- ef­fect” seat fab­ric and firm bol­sters pro­vide ex­cel­lent sup­port and com­fort. Har­ness slots are pro­vided for those who want more sup­port.

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