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Civic Type R officially unveiled in Japan

More details announced ahead of sporty Civic’s Oz arrival early next year

5 Sep 2022

WHAT is likely the last thermal-powered Honda Civic Type R has just made an official international debut in Japan, months before it’s due here.


GoAuto can’t tell you the exact price of the new FL5 model suffice to say it will probably be five per cent more than the existing FK8 which sold for $54,990 plus ORCs.


Honda Australia is now operating an “agency” sales network switching to a fixed-price business model with nationwide, non-negotiable drive-away pricing.


That means when it arrives sometime next year, the new Type R will probably hit showrooms at close to $65,000 drive away, a significant increase on the previous model and ironically, approaching the price of Type R rival, Volkswagen’s Golf R pitched at $68,990 plus ORCs but with AWD compared with Type R’s front wheel drive.


The sixth generation FL5 model is the most powerful Type R ever with peak power output from the turbocharged 2.0-litre VTEC engine at a hairy-chested 235kW combined with an equally hairy- chested 420Nm of torque.


They’re good stats even for a large capacity, sporty V8 from only a few years ago…


Those numbers, sure to please Honda enthusiasts, are up by 7kW and 20Nm respectively compared with the previous FK8 Type R.


As per usual, the latest Type R was developed in Japan and track-tested around the world, which, according to Honda: “Allows new Civic Type R to deliver the most rewarding driving experience in the hot hatch segment.”


GoAuto will reserve judgement on that assertion until we get behind the wheel of new Type R but we have to admit to admiring the beautifully integrated, advanced aerodynamics of the car that give the new Civic Type R an imposing and muscular stance.


This is the most powerful model in the 30-year history of the Type R brand combining potent dynamic performance with an all-new immersive cockpit experience and completely new sheet metal.


During validation 2023 Type R set a new production-car, front-wheel drive track record at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan, home to the Formula 1 Honda Japanese Grand Prix. This assures its position in Honda lore as the best performing Civic Type R ever.


The achievement and similar quick times at different racetracks around the world ratifies Honda’s claims for the FL5 model as a “leader in ride, handling and steering performance.”


The impressive results are thanks to project engineers who conducted extensive development in Japan and undertook rigorous testing at racetracks in Japan, North America and Europe to further improve Civic Type R’s chassis.


Naturally, time was spent honing the hot hatch at Germany’s infamous Nürburgring, the world’s most challenging racetrack and VW Golf R’s stamping ground, helping make the all-new Type R more responsive, more comfortable and more “thrilling-to-drive” than ever.


Under its wide, vented aluminium bonnet is a more powerful version of Honda’s highly regarded K20C1 engine. Power, torque and response are all improved by a redesigned turbocharger, increased air intake flow rate and a new, more efficient exhaust system that features a straight through design and an active exhaust valve.


Essentially, there’s more going in and coming out of Type R’s engine for incremental efficiency gains. 


Those numbers again… 235kW and 420Nm both of which translate into a quicker, faster Type R.


Keeping it all cool is a larger grille opening, bigger radiator and a new large-diameter fan to ensure sustained, optimal performance during extreme driving.


To further strengthen the driver’s connection with the car, an active outlet exhaust valve opens at higher rpm to heighten and enhance the sound of the engine that bellows through a centrally located triple outlet exhaust.


According to Honda information: “The six-speed manual transmission is further improved for an even more intimate and rewarding connection with the driver.”


A lighter flywheel and a revised rev-match system ensure perfectly paired rev-matching when shifting down through the gears, helping maintain stability on corner entry. The gearbox has also gained a high-rigidity lever and optimised shift gate pattern for a reassured and precise gear change.


The new Type R is based on the new, 11th-generation Civic hatch further endowed with scalpel-sharp responses and famously addictive Type R driving feel. The rigid body structure supports both improved dynamics and refinement facilitating the hyper hatch feel.


In terms of critical dimensions, new Type R features a longer wheelbase for a smoother ride and greater stability, while the front and rear tracks are also significantly wider. Together with a retuned dual-axis strut front and multilink rear suspension, these changes improve straight-line stability and steering feel.


Braking performance is optimised by Type R’s two-piece front brake rotors that reduce unsprung weight, while brake cooling is also improved and a retuned brake booster enhances feel and controllability.


Drivers can seamlessly switch between four pre-set performance settings, selecting different modes for the engine, steering, suspension and engine sound. In addition to Comfort, Sport and +R modes, a new Individual mode enables customisation of the driving experience.


The new model is designed with input from aerodynamic development members of the HRD Sakura Super GT team, making its exterior more aerodynamically efficient while generating significantly more downforce to improve high speed stability.


Designed in Japan, the new body has a more muscular look with integrated, flared wheel arches over wider tracks and lightweight 19-inch matte black alloy wheels wrapped in wider Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres. The new wheels use a special ‘reverse rim’ design that improves the stability of the tyre contact patch under load.


All body panels forward of the A-pillars are new and ‘unique’ to the Type R, including a new more aggressive front bumper design. The lower stance is accentuated by wider rear doors exclusive to Type R and a reshaped rear bumper that reveals its updated signature three round exhaust outlets. 


A redesigned rear spoiler with aluminium stanchions and a new rear diffuser intensify downforce and reduce drag.

Inside is designed to support intense driving experiences, with the cockpit featuring performance-focused details including the Type R’s iconic red seats, carpet and trim, a redesigned aluminium shift knob and a serialised Type R build plate affixed to the dashboard.


Drivers sit lower than before in new, lighter, body-stabilising sport seats, yet with greater visibility courtesy of the thinner pillars, relocated side mirror and a lower bonnet that are key design features of the 11th-generation Civic.


New, lightweight, heavily bolstered front sports seats with suede-effect upholstery offer both exceptional support and comfort on the track and during long drives.


Supporting performance driving, Type R’s digital meter display features clean, easy-to-read graphics and an extensive selection of displays. There’s a large tachometer and gear-position display, plus a multi-information display. A second new meter design is exclusive to the +R mode and allows the driver to obtain necessary information instantly, with the engine rpm and gear position placed at the top.


A performance data logger combines the on board computer and sensors with a new built-in vehicle app. This helps drivers monitor and record a variety of performance parameters in real time when driving on the track or other closed courses, helping to improve driving skills.


The new Honda Civic Type R is being built at the Yorii Plant in Japan, while the K20C1 engine continues to be built at Honda’s Anna Engine Plant in Ohio, USA.

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