Honda Civic gets R rated

BY CHARL BOSCH - JANUARY 28, 2016

One of the most eagerly awaited hot hatchbacks to arrive on local shores, Honda South Africa has finally announced pricing and spec details of its brand new Civic Type-R.

First shown at the Geneva Motor Show last year and available in certain markets since July, the newly designated FK2-generation Type-R also sees Honda forgoing its long standing use of naturally aspirated engines in favour of forced induction, making it one of the most powerful front-wheel drive vehicles on sale today.

Compared to its discretely styled predecessor, exterior changes are more noticeable with an aerodynamically shaped body claimed to have been the result of numerous pre-production test at the Nürburgring and Suzuka racetracks.

These included a bespoke front bumper designed to prevent lift at high speed, a more pronounced rear wing to aid downforce, special front and rear splitters to reduce drag, an enhanced rear diffuser, and special 19-inch lightweight alloy wheels unique to the Type-R.

Underneath the skin, the list of changes are more extensive with the often lamented torsion beam rear axle now featuring a tubular H-design, while a new four wheel adaptive damper setup allows each wheel to spin separate from the other. In addition, the Type-R sports a completely revised front suspension claimed to reduce torque-steer by as much as 55%.

Together with a new electric power steering system, the Type-R also features a +R differential mode that further sharpens throttle response, quickens-up the steering and allows the driver to monitor performance and lap time via a stopwatch on the touchscreen display.

Up front, the Type-R continues to make use of Honda’s 2.0-litre K-series petrol engine, now with the addition of a turbocharger and Earth Dreams Technology, to produce 228 kW and 400 N.m of torque. Top speed is rated at 270 km/h with the 0-100 km/h over in 5.7 secs. Fuel consumption is rated at 7.5 L/100 km and emissions at 177 g/km.

Given its flagship status, standard spec is plentiful and boats dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless go/start, cruise control, rain sense wipers, front and rear parking sensors, six-speaker sound system with Bluetooth and Honda’s MirrorLink smartphone connectivity system.

A five year / 200 000 km warranty and five year / 90 000 km service is included in the R586 400 sticker price.