Honda’s Civic Type R is big, bold and here to be counted in performance enthusiast market. After spending a couple of days behind the wheel, it’s time to reflect on some initial impressions of the car ahead of a full review.
To being we have to talk about the design of this car. Most vehicle designers start with big, lofty and ambitious plans for their vehicle to stand out from everything else on the market, to move the industry forward in terms of design. The reality is that the marketing departments almost always ruin the fun with a big red pen, striking out anything that is risky and bold that could turn off potential customers, effectively turning a great car into a boring bucket of bolts on 4 wheels we’ve seen a thousand times before. Thankfully the marketing department took the week off when the Type R was being developed.
The car features one of the most aggressive body kits to ever leave a factory. It’s also red, very red.. The body is red, the brakes are red, the rims have a red accent, the seatbelts are red, the steering wheel has red, the seats have red and even the floor mats have red stitching. When night time rolls around there’s a hidden red light that illuminates the shifter and if you flick the car into R+ mode, the dash turns red.
This car refuses to apologies for demanding your attention and if the colour wasn’t enough to turn heads, the sounds certainly are. At the rear you’ll find the now famous triple exhaust tip.. There’s no reason for there to be 3, it just looks different and that’s pretty much exactly what this car is about.
When you drive the Type R, you’ll choose from 3 drive modes, Comfort, Sport and R+. These change the suspension, handling and acceleration of the vehicle. Like the car’s biggest competitor, the Focus RS, this makes it a transformer, capable of cruising to the shops, or along the freeway, or cornering like it was on rails. Speaking of, taking roundabouts at 60 or 70km/hr is possible with this car, which leaves a very confused look on the face of others as you sling past them.
The seats are amazing, they just hug you and hold you tight, perfect for the spirited driving you won’t be able to resist. While the sides are bolstered more than your average sedan, they aren’t as aggressive as the Focus RS, which makes them more practical for more people, but again, that body work is the real determiner of like or hate for this vehicle.
The car has Android Auto, which is now a minimum requirement for many and it makes Honda’s standard interface a non issue. One thing I do love in the Type R compared to the recently reviewed Honda CRV is the display features a hardware button to control (and to turn off) the center display. This is fantastic at night time when you’re focusing on an apex.
I’ll have to spend a couple more weeks in this office before doing a full review, so make sure you drop any questions you have in the comments.