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2018 Honda Civic Type R Overview
Last year marked an exciting introduction into the U.S. market for fans of the Type R Hondas. Aside from a limited run from the Integra, the only exposure Type R’s received here was from the entertainment industry. At last, though, Honda has brought a Civic Type R to America. For 2017 Honda delivered a one-two punch with an intriguing new Civic Si and, finally, a Type R. The new Civic is an absolute rocket: in 2017 it became the quickest front-drive car in the world around Germany’s famous Nurburgring. Since the model only just debuted for 2017, it goes into 2018 largely unchanged.
Unlike the rest of the Civic range, the Type R is a hot hatch that doesn’t have a dizzying amount of options to choose from. The engine is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with a turbo VTEC that makes a whopping 306hp with torque to match, unlike previous hot Hondas which have been traditionally peaky with a narrow power band. The new Type R makes 295 lb-ft, and can get from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds. The power goes to the front wheels through a good-old-fashioned 6-speed manual gearbox topped by a handsome aluminum shift knob, getting 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Unlike the old VTEC screamers that redlined at 8,000 or even 9,000 rpm, the new Type R doesn’t sound quite as angry, only revving up to 7,000.
Despite weighing 3,100 pounds, the Type R is a sharp handler due to its standard 20-inch tires combined with stiffer springs, dampers, bushing, and sway bars. It will pull 1.02 g of lateral grip, and Honda’s dual-axis strut front suspension reportedly just about eliminates the torque steer that plagues front-drive performance cars. A helical limited-slip differential is also standard.
In addition to the Boy Racer spoiler, body kit, and hood scoop, the Civic Type R is pretty wild on the inside, too. Red accents line the familiar and practical space Civics share without passing the threshold of excessive. It has 25.7 cubic feet of cargo room in the back and 46 with the rear seat folded down. As for convenience features, the Type R essentially mimics the Civic Touring package trim with LED headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, a navigation system, and an upgraded audio system and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The latest generation Civic has gotten top scores all the way around in both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing.
For decades, the appeal of hot Hondas has been that they make great all-arounders. Fun to drive, reliable, practical, fuel efficient and affordably priced, they do everything well without breaking the bank on a supercar. That seems to be the case once again with the Type R. While more expensive than some of the entry-level front-drive sport compacts, it’s quite a bit cheaper than the all-wheel drive performers that are arguably its true performance peers, not to mention a reasonably fuel efficient little car that makes for a great daily driver.
Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.
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