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Geneva show: Honda’s ‘fastest’ 270km/h Civic Type R

Code red: Honda’s British-built Civic Type R carries a red theme through the vehicle, from the traditional red Type R badges to the dash lighting.

Honda set to eclipse hot hatch rivals with ballistic new Civic Type R


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12 Feb 2015

HONDA has revealed that its new-generation Civic Type R can hit 270km/h, making it the fastest mass-production front-wheel drive four-cylinder hot hatch in the world.

If it lives up to the claim, the brutal British-built five-door hatch will be speedier than the likes of Volkswagen’s benchmark Golf GTI (246km/h) and Renault Megane RS265 (255km/h), and on par with the original Honda NSX – Honda’s swiftest production car to date.

To be unveiled in its showroom form at next month’s Geneva motor show, the new fourth-generation Type R is said to owe its high velocity to a slippery shape with aerodynamic aids, such as an underbody tray that covers almost the entire underside of the car, carefully designed front splitter and deep side skirts.

Honda Australia is yet to confirm that it will add the car to its line-up, but it seems a no-brainer to add excitement to the brand, alongside the born-again NSX.

Honda UK overnight released three teaser images of the car, showing the front bumper with its black mesh grille, black-painted splitter and driving lights.

A shot of the front wheel shows a black-finished five-spoke 19-inch alloys backed by meaty Brembo brakes that Honda says has 350mm drilled discs and four-pot callipers.

Only one of the images allows a glimpse at the dash, revealing three red-hued dials with a tacho front and centre. No speedo is obvious, indicating that it will probably have a digital readout, possibly on a heads-up display.

The leather-clad steering wheel has red contrast stitching and a race-style top-centre marker in red leather.

As previously revealed, the Type R will be powered by an all-new 2.0-litre direct-injected, turbo-charged VTEC four-cylinder engine producing more than 206kW of power and 400Nm of torque.

A six-speed manual gearbox feeds the grunt to the front wheels with the help of a system dubbed steer axis – apparently a form of torque vectoring to control understeer.

The suspension will have four-stage adaptive adjustment for comfortable ride around town and firm high-speed handling, while a ‘+R’ setting sharpens inputs such as steering and throttle.

Honda says the Type R’s design has been heavily influenced by extensive aerodynamic development and testing, both on computer and in the wind tunnel.

“The result is a car with exceptional high speed stability and high levels of downforce,” it says in a press release accompanying the teaser photos.

The flat underside is said to work with a rear wing to “effectively suck the car to the road”.

Honda is on record as saying it wanted the new Type R to be the fastest front-wheel-drive car around Germany’s Nurburgring.

The show car at Geneva will be white – a colour inextricably linked with Honda high performance, including the original Formula 1 racer in which American Ritchie Ginther won the company’s first grand prix in 1966.

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