2020 Honda Civic Type R Review

Civic Type R

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2020 Honda Civic Type R Overview

Honda’s Civic Type R returns for 2020 with renewed dynamic abilities, refreshed styling inside and out, and a new datalogger to help track drivers analyze on-track performance.

The Type R’s powertrain is unchanged from 2019: A turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine good for 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque sits under the hood. It’s coupled to a 6-speed manual transmission driving the front wheels through a gear-type limited-slip differential, which evenly distributes torque across the front axle. Three drive modes (Comfort, Sport, and +R) allow drivers to adjust throttle response, damping, and steering effort.

Revised front and rear fascias give the Type R a modest new look, but more importantly, the redesign yields functional improvements. The new nose provides a 13 percent larger opening for cooling air to reach the radiator, enabling lower coolant temperatures on the track. Underneath, recalibrated adaptive dampers now offer quicker reactions, which, in conjunction with new bushings in select locations and new ball joints, permits sharper handling. Braking is improved as well. Two-piece front rotors replace last year’s single-piece rotors and shave 5 pounds from the front axle. The braking system is also retuned for better response with the removal of free play from the pedal stroke.

There are subtle changes inside as well, where a synthetic suede steering wheel and shift boot improve looks. There’s a new weighted shift knob designed to pay homage to the original 1997 Civic Type R. The audio system is also now employed to enhance engine sounds during aggressive driving.

The new datalogger incorporates the infotainment screen and a driver’s iPhone or Android smartphone to display information in real time and for review after a track session. Real-time monitoring of crucial engine data like coolant and oil temperature (and other parameters) are displayed on the Type R’s 7.0-inch infotainment screen while driving. Review of lapping data including lap time, lateral acceleration, and longitudinal acceleration is available using the dedicated LogR app after track sessions. There’s also a feature built into the app which monitors driver smoothness to encourage improved track driving.

The Civic Type R is available in one trim but can be had with various accessories packages adding carbon-fiber trim, wheel locks, floor mats, and more. Navigation and Honda Sensing, a suite of driver aids that includes adaptive cruise control, are both included in the Type R’s $36,995 price, not including destination.

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Josh Jacquot is an automotive journalist who has held positions at both enthusiast- and consumer-based automotive publications for more than 20 years. With a far-reaching knowledge of all things automotive, his career has put him behind the wheel of everything from snowplows to 600-horsepower rallycross cars. His driving resume includes wins at the national level in NASA Rallysport competition and the California Rally Series in addition to one regrettable night at the inaugural 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Though he likes most anything that can be driven, he has a particular affinity for box flares, Campagnolo wheels, and gratuitous wings and ducts. Someday he will own an Renault R5 Turbo.

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Civic Type R

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