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Honda’s hardcore Civic Type R Limited Edition

Limited-run Civic Type R hot hatch loses weight, gains chassis tweaks and datalogger

20 Feb 2020

HONDA Australia will take its blistering Civic Type R hot hatch to a new level of hardcore in the first quarter of next year with a lightweight Limited Edition featuring track-oriented upgrades including forged wheels, sticky tyres, recalibrated suspension and steering, and an on-board datalogger.


A loud-and-proud ‘Sunlight Yellow’ paint finish with contrasting gloss-black roof, bonnet scoop and door mirror housings identify this as no ordinary Type R, along with the moody-looking matte-black 20-inch BBS forged alloy wheels.


Sound insulation has been stripped from the roof, tailgate, dashboard and front bumper to save weight, while the change in unsprung mass brought by the new wheels has been matched by modified dampers, with steering tweaks designed to suit the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres while maximising feedback and control.


The Limited Edition’s cabin includes a build number plaque as well as a new Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel design with red accents to match the Type R’s trademark red bucket seats.


All these changes are applied to the facelifted Civic Type R that broke cover at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January and is due to launch Down Under in time for Christmas.


As per the facelift, the Limited Edition maintains power and torque outputs from the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine at 228kW and 400Nm, sent to the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox.


But losing a few kilos should enable it to beat the 1393kg standard model’s 5.7-second 0-100km/h acceleration time.


Honda has not binned the Type R’s rear bench for the Limited Edition, which remains a daily driver courtesy of active safety and driver aid systems comprising adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking with forward collision warning, lane-keep assist with lane-departure warning and road-departure mitigation.


In addition to improved acceleration and cornering ability, the Limited Edition can coach its driver to better exploit the new-found performance advantage using technology Honda calls ‘LogR’ and is the Japanese brand’s answer to embedded telemetry systems such as the Renault RS Monitor.


Linking the Type R’s onboard electronic control systems and sensors with GPS, Google Maps, the in-dash touch and a smartphone app, LogR calculates driving smoothness and lap times and also monitors engine coolant, oil and intake air temperatures along with atmospheric pressure.


With an in-built ‘expert driver’ benchmark to aspire to, whenever the LogR app is activated it monitors driver behaviour and scores him or her for smoothness of inputs to the clutch, gearshift, steering, brakes and accelerator. Progress is logged and can then be compared over time.


For track use, the system can also gather lap times and keep a colour-coded trace of each lap for the driver to study with a view to improving performance. A G-force meter readout is also available.


Pricing is yet to be announced but is expected to attract a healthy premium over the regular Civic Type R that is stickered at $51,990 plus on-road costs in pre-facelift guise.


That said, the Limited Edition’s lack of carbon-fibre wheels, titanium exhaust and carbon-ceramic brakes make it unlikely to command anything like the $74,990 (plus on-roads) of Renault’s Megane Trophy-R.

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