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Honda marks 25 years of Type R
25 years of Type R Hondas commemorated with bespoke autonomous lawnmower
11 Sep 2017
By TUNG NGUYEN
TO CELEBRATE the silver anniversary of its Type R high-performance nameplate, Honda has developed not a hardcore, special-edition time-attack monster, but a bespoke, autonomous lawnmower.
Based on Honda’s Miimo robotic lawnmower, the grass-loving ‘Type R’ sports iconic Championship White paintwork and red badging, while also borrowing the current-generation Civic hot hatch’s front and rear fascia designs, as well as its attention-grabbing rear spoiler and triple centre-exit exhaust.
However, despite appearances, the Miimo Type R will not finish its gardening work any quicker than the standard model.
The one-off Miimo was produced to commemorate 25 years of the Type R nomenclature, which was first used in 1992 on the supercar-baiting NSX-R (its internal designation of ‘R-type’ was later formalised to Type R).
Released exclusively for the Japanese domestic market (JDM), changes over the standard mid-engined coupe included a substantial weight reduction program which saw the model drop 120kg to 1230kg and retuned suspension for less body roll in high-speed cornering.
An R-tuned variant remained with the NSX after its facelift in 2002, but a more hardcore version has yet to materialise on the second-generation hybrid supercar released last year.
Honda’s next model to receive the Type R treatment was the Integra liftback coupe in 1995, which received the venerable B18C 1.8-litre dual-overhead cam VTEC four cylinder, enough to produce around 145kW and a redline at around 8600rpm, as well as suspension, bodykit, interior and gearbox tweaks.
The new-generation Integra, released in 2002, also received a Type R version with a 162kW 2.0-litre K20A sending power exclusively to the front axle.
The Japanese car-maker’s sixth-generation Accord mid-size sedan was also given hardcore Type R version, first released in 1998 with a 164kW H22A 2.2-litre engine, as well as mechanical and cosmetic changes to suit.
Similarly, the seven-generation sedan was also given a tuned version in the form of the Accord Euro R, which borrowed the 2.0-litre K20A engine from the second-generation Integra Type R.
However, Honda’s Civic small car range has been the recipient of the most Type R-tuned versions, starting in 1997 with the EK9 hatchback and has spanned five generations, including the EP3, FN2 and FK2 models, culminating in the current turbocharged FK8.
The latest small car to wear the Type R name is currently the fastest front-wheel-drive production car to lap the Nurburgring circuit in part thanks to its 228kW/400Nm turbocharged 2.0-litre VTEC four-cylinder motor.
When Honda’s latest hot hatch goes on sale in Australia next month for $50,9990 before on-road costs, it will compete directly against the Volkswagen Golf R, Ford Focus RS and Subaru WRX STI.
Also celebrating its 25th birthday is Honda’s Fireblade motorcycle nameplate.
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