Honda has unveiled the all-new Civic Type R as it celebrates 25 years of the brand’s iconic high-performance hatchback – and 50 years of Civic. The new Type R has been engineered to deliver the most exhilarating Civic Type R experience to date, building on a long tradition of performance cars inspired by the spirit of racing.
Available in Europe from early 2023, the Civic Type R is already setting new benchmarks, recently breaking the front-wheel drive lap record at Suzuka Circuit in Japan. As part of its development, Honda engineers refined every aspect of the new model, including design enhancements that improve aerodynamic performance. Lightweight components and powertrain revisions have created the most responsive and powerful Type R ever.
“With the all-new Civic Type R, Honda engineers have again delivered on our goal to create the most rewarding driving experience in the performance hatchback segment,” said Tom Gardner, Senior Vice President, Honda Motor Europe. “Through exceptional advancements and the application of motorsport-derived technologies, we have exceeded the capabilities of even the stripped out, lightweight version of the previous model. It is this dedication to performance excellence that has made the Civic Type R so popular with driving purists for 25 years.”
Powerful aerodynamic design
Developed under the model concept of creating the “Ultimate Sports 2.0,” the new Type R builds on sleek and sporty silhouette of the recently revealed Honda Civic e:HEV. To enhance the sportier look and elevate driving performance, the Type R is noticeably lower and wider in stance. The squat form is enhanced through wheel arches that flare out over lightweight 19-inch matte black alloy wheels, shod with bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres.
During development, Honda engineers worked to the concept of creating the “Ultimate Sports Design”: The ultimate expression of a high-performance, front-engine, front-wheel-drive car. The exterior design now conveys a sense of unity, with uncluttered details on the front and rear bumpers as well as beautifully integrated design features such as the rear doors and arches, which have all been exclusively developed for the Type R and bring improved aerodynamic benefits.
The large lower grille of the front bumper maximises airflow to the engine, and works in unison with the new, subtle bonnet that now features a vent to again maximise airflow around the front end.
Other design details that help maximise aerodynamics include the large aperture vents behind the front wheels and a new, larger rear diffuser that is integrated directly into the under-floor - itself shaped to work in unison with the bodywork above.
The dramatic new rear spoiler design further contributes to downforce generation and has been angled rearward to suppress air resistance. Supported by new aluminium die-cast mounts, the rear wing sits lower but wider than the previous model, accentuating the sleek new roofline and wider stance.
Paint finish choices include the historic Championship White revered by Honda Type R enthusiasts, in addition to a solid Rallye Red, as well as Racing Blue, Crystal Black and Sonic Grey Pearls.
Immersive cockpit experience
The interior of the new model is dedicated to enhancing the exhilaration of driving and sharpening concentration levels. It maintains the high level of comfort, practicality and refinement found within the all-new Civic e:HEV, elevated by emotive, performance-focused details and features, such as the iconic classic Type R red trim.
The immersive cockpit is designed to support intense driving experiences: the driver sits lower than before, with greater visibility over the lower bonnet, blind spots minimised, and reflective elements reduced. The lightweight front sports seats with suede-effect upholstery offer exceptional support for the driver’s postural structure to provide comfort and manoeuvrability on the track and during long drives.
Drivers can seamlessly switch between performance settings, with pre-set modes for the engine, steering, suspension and engine sound. In addition to Comfort, Sport and +R modes, a new ‘Individual Mode’ has been introduced to enable customisation of the driving experience.
The powerful Honda LogR data logger returns in a heavily updated format for this generation of Type R, and now combines performance data collected by in-car sensors with a smartphone app to help drivers monitor and record a variety of metrics in real-time. Key features include a stopwatch to record lap times, tyre friction circles that displays the maximum tyre force the vehicle can achieve, 3D vehicle motion display, and an innovative scoring function that helps drivers improve their skills on the track and much more to engage with drivers and encourage safe, accurate and incrementally faster laps on track.
Performance-focused engineering enhancements
The Civic Type R is renowned for its powerful, highly responsive and high revving engines. The new model builds on the award-winning basis of its predecessor by evolving the 17YM Type-R’s famed engine even further to deliver the fastest, most addictive yet secure and rewarding drive in the model’s history.
Changes are incremental with the revised turbocharger now featuring a compact housing to improve the overall unit efficiency. The turbine itself has had both its blade count and shape optimized to boost power and improve airflow through the turbo. This has resulted in the strongest VTEC turbocharged engine in the Type R’s engine.
A revised, high-efficiency exhaust system works in conjunction with the above to improve the power-to-weight ratio, torque and top speed of the previous generation Type R and make the 2023 Civic Type R one of the most powerful per litre cars in its class.
Helping drivers feel connected to their car is an optimised version of the six-speed manual transmission that helped the previous generation enamour fans around the world. A revised rev-match system with auto blip ensures perfectly paired rev-matching when shifting down through the gears, helping balance the car on corner entry. The high-strength gearbox has gained a high-rigidity lever and optimized shift gate pattern for a reassured and hyper-precise gear change.
The upgraded Brembo braking system retains the two-piece discs from the previous generation for improved feel and longevity. The new car features enhanced temperature control and air-cooling through an upgraded radiator, ensuring sustained, optimal performance during heavy use. A new triple-exhaust design with enhanced sound modulation enhances the aural sensation, further strengthening the driver’s connection with the car.
The all-new Honda Civic Type R will go on sale on next year, with first deliveries to customers beginning in Europe from early 2023.