Ignition

A D - SHAPED ST E E R I N G W H E E L , A N D A N A LUMINUM BA L L- TYPE S H I F T KNOB THAT L E TS A DRIVER RIP THROUGH THE GEARS MANUA L LY – T H E R I G H T WAY – JUST L I K E TYPE R S

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Android Auto or Apple Carplay, navigation, and a 12-speaker audio system, but that's where the similariti­es end. Up front, Honda aficionado­s will be delighted to see that everything is how it should be: bright red Type-rbranded bucket seats with aggressive side bolsters, just right for either street or track, as well as a D-shaped steering wheel, and an aluminum ball-type shift knob that lets a driver rip through the gears manually – the right way – just like Type Rs of old.

The exterior is the most controvers­ial aspect of the new track-attacking Civic, but, personally, I think it looks fantastic. I've heard the styling of the Type R described as an “anime haircut,” and if anything, that just makes me like it more. The athletic, bulging fenders, vents galore, roof strakes, carbon fiber wing, and carbon-look front and side splitters all paint a striking picture. That picture says that this car doesn't just diffuse and harness wind, it takes its lunch money and gives it a swirly in the locker room toilets. The Type R (according to Honda) has the best downforce coefficien­t in its category – every bulge, hole, and sharp line is functional, in one way or another. Take the hood scoop for example: air that comes up and over the front of the car is captured for engine cooling, as well as lift reduction. I know, a functional hood scoop on a Honda was confoundin­g to me, too, never mind the fact that I was seeing it on a track car on a racetrack, instead of on a parking lot warrior at Timmies.

Before we shipped off to Quebec to go drive these machines, there was a whisper that the Civic Type R was going to be all-wheel-drive to combat the Focus RS, WRX STI, and Golf R, but that was squashed as soon as we sat in on the seminar the night before in our hotel's meeting room. And no, an AWD model isn't planned for later either – it's too heavy. Some grimaced at the

thought of torque steer coming from the heavily-depended-on front end, taking up steering duties and handling 306 horses and 295 lb-ft. of torque like an overburden­ed babysitter's arms overflowin­g with children. Honda had a plan for this though, and has stamped torque steer out almost completely, which leads to my favourite thing about this car: it doesn't feel like it's FWD. This amazing feeling of balance is accomplish­ed by incorporat­ing a helical LSD, which precisely divvies up torque for the front wheels, and employing a wider track with some cleverly engineered steering knuckles (not unlike Ford's Revoknuckl­e).

When pushing the Type R around the gorgeous and demanding circuit set up for us at Mont-tremblant, steering input and shift feel were exactly how you would expect them to be from Honda – excellent – and the nonexisten­t tugging from the front enabled our enthusiast­ic bunch to really see what the FK8 could do. This Civic gets a double dose of Honda power in the form of VTEC and turbo, resulting in the most powerful engine ever offered in a North American production Honda engine, and some pretty great lap times from our group. A manual transmissi­on with optional auto-rev-matching (an applicatio­n first), which deletes the need for heel-to-toe, plus some late braking thanks to the four-pot Brembos clamping on 13.8-inch cross-drilled rotors makes the Type R easy to drive hard. I can totally understand how it achieved fastest FWD status at the Nordschlei­fe with a lap time of 7:43:80 (seven seconds faster than the FK2).

All this track talk may make some a little apprehensi­ve about daily driving a Type R. Any sane person looking at the changes to the suspension setup from the base hatchback to the Type R would swear the ride would be buckboard because of the 200-percent stiffer front springs and 160-percent stiffened rears, not to mention the anti-roll bars being 170-percent and 240-percent more rigid in the front and rear, respective­ly, plus beefier links and bushings. I'm happy to report that (somehow) the ride is reasonably comfortabl­e, and that's when the Civic is in “Sport” mode, which is the default drive mode the Type R starts off in. Just under “Sport” is “Comfort” for daily duties, and sitting as the top-end of performanc­e is “+R” mode. By flicking a switch, you can change between these drive modes, a change that is picked up by the suspension's control unit, which then receives orders from three G sensors, four suspension stroke sensors, and a steering angle sensor to tell the solenoid valves on the struts to increase or decrease damping force. As such, “Comfort” is the most balanced between ride and handling, “Sport” sees firmer damping, stabilizat­ion, and more precise handling, and “+R” unhinges the Type R with damping and steering settings oriented for track performanc­e – this mode also allows deactivati­on of stability and traction control, for all you badasses out there.

The exhaust rasp or r drone that plagues many performanc­e mance Hondas is cleverly handled d as well, although the center-mounted mounted pipes sticking out of the Type R's rear would allude otherwise. The triple-exit isn't to o hear more “VTEC, yo,” in fact, it's to hear a classier “VTEC, sir.” The he outer two pipes are main exhaust st outlets, while the center is connected nnected to a resonator that's tucked k dj just behind the rear bumper. At low engine speeds, air flows through all three pipes, adding just enough of a grunt with the help of the resonator, but when the pedal is really put down, exhaust moves to the outer two pipes only, bypassing the resonator and resulting in a more refined, aggressive note than you're used to. Honestly, I feel like the car could have been louder all around, but I happen to like my cars a little obnoxious. The cool part is that the change in exhaust note is made by exhaust pressure alone; no butterfly valves here.

The new Type R is a complete track pack that can handle weekday duties and weekend battles, and do it comfortabl­y, without too many of the performanc­e-ori- ented options getting in the way of daily driving. As far as similar competitor­s tit th that t can achieve hi that same versatilit­y, there are only three real choices here: Subaru's WRX STI, VW'S Golf R, and Ford's Focus RS. The Type R takes second place for second most expensive, coming in at $40,890, just above the Golf R's $40,695 and WRX STI'S $37,995 base MSRP, and lightyears away from the Focus RS'S $48,418. The Type R and RS do share similariti­es in the fact that both have no upgrade options, nor options for transmissi­on aside from manual, as both the Golf R and WRX STI have a choice of gearbox and some option boxes to tick off (much more on the WRX STI'S end), and all three of the competitor­s are equipped with their own AWD systems. Without the AWD system though, the Type R is the li lightest ht t of f the th group and dl loses only to the RS in horsepower and torque and power to weight. If you're okay some more extreme styling, I'd say the Type R is a fine choice – I didn't miss

the AWD of the other models much here, and I'd have to say that the Civic was the most f fun I've I' hd had around dh the track in a while. If you're game to pick one of just 1,000 for Canada in 2017, just be prepared for the flocking of Honda fanboys asking how many VTECS you have to follow.

BRITISH COLOMBIA Turbo S E-hybrid has all 627 lb-ft. of torque available right through the meat of the rev range right up to 5,500 rpm which is designed to deliver both high performanc­e and high efficiency.

The Panamera Turbo S E-hybrid utilizes a 100 kw (136 hp) electric motor that works in conjunctio­n with a 14.1 kwh liquid-cooled, lithium-ion battery pack mounted in the rear of the car. On a full charge, electric-only range is 50 km and, according to Porsche, it takes less than six hours to fully charge the battery using a 230-volt connection with 10-amp service.

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