With a heritage that stretches back some 30 years, Honda’s Type R models have always been the embodiment of performance and refinement, providing an exhilarating driving experience bar none. This legendary tradition of building cars for the true enthusiast is now being taken to the next level with the introduction of the All-New 2023 Civic Type R, the most powerful Honda production vehicle ever to reach South African shores.
"Type R is the pinnacle of Honda performance and enables enthusiasts to experience the brand’s racing spirit, while providing the ultimate in speed and driving pleasure,” said Hideki Kakinuma, global Civic Type R development leader. “The All-New Civic Type R continues this legacy, leveraging Honda’s racetrack-proven engineering to deliver extreme performance and passion."
*Exhilarating performance* The All-New Civic Type R is the sixth iteration of this exciting model, which was first introduced in Japan in 1997. Since then, the Type R has become the epitome of performance excellence and the 2023 model recently set a new track record for front-wheel drive production-cars at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan, home to the Formula 1 Honda Japanese Grand Prix.
This was no fluke though. Honda engineers meticulously 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. The result is more responsiveness, greater comfort and a more thrilling driving experience than ever before.
Under the vented aluminium bonnet of the All-New Civic Type R lurks an even more powerful version of Honda’s award-winning K20C1 engine. Output, torque and response have all been improved by a redesigned turbocharger, increased air intake flow rate, and a new more efficient exhaust system. The turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine now produces 235kW at 6 500 r/min and 420Nm of peak torque between 2 600 r/min and 4 000 r/min, gaining improvements of 7Kw and 20 Nm over the outgoing model.
A larger grille opening, bigger radiator and a new large-diameter fan improve engine cooling, ensuring sustained, optimal performance during extreme driving. To further strengthen the driver’s connection with the car, the active exhaust valve opens at higher rpm to heighten and enhance the sound of the engine.
Linked to this impressive powerplant is an equally impressive and improved six-speed manual transmission that offers 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 to maintain stability on corner entry. The gearbox has also gained a high-rigidity lever and optimised shift gate pattern, while a standard helical-type limited-slip differential puts the engine's power to the pavement effectively.
Honda has bolstered the Civic Type R’s legendary sharp responses through a more rigid body structure that supports both improved dynamics and refinement. Furthermore, the wheelbase has been extended by 36mm to 2 735mm for a smoother ride and greater stability, making this the longest wheelbase in its class.
Its front and rear tracks are also significantly wider (+26mm in the front and +25mm in the rear). Together with a retuned dual-axis strut front and multilink rear suspension, these changes improve straight-line stability and steering feel. For exceptional braking performance, Type R’s two-piece front brake rotors reduce unsprung weight. At the same time brake cooling is also improved, while a retuned brake booster enhances feel and controllability.
Ensuring a high level of customisation of the overall driving experience, drivers can seamlessly switch between four pre-set performance settings – Comfort, Sport, +R and a new Individual Mode – to alter the characteristics of the engine, steering, suspension and even engine sound.
*Sleek and sporty design* It’s not only under the bonnet that the All-New Civic Type R is a pure performance beast. It looks the part too. Advanced aerodynamics give it a sleeker, more sophisticated, yet muscular look. The body is also more aerodynamically efficient, generating more downforce for improved high-speed stability.
The Type R’s new, more muscular body is 37mm longer, 27mm lower and 13mm wider than that of its predecessor, with broad fenders flared out over wider tracks, and lightweight 19-inch matte black alloy wheels wrapped in wider bespoke 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. The overall visual effect is one that exudes pure sportiness, performance and style.
Taking the refinement and performance-focused persona even further, all body panels forward of the A-pillars are new and unique to the Type R, including a more aggressive front bumper design. Its lower stance is accentuated by wider rear doors 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 to further impart the All-New Type R with true performance credentials.
Befitting its sporty styling, the All-New Type R is available in five striking body colours: Championship White, Rallye Red, Racing Blue Pearl, Crystal Black Pearl and Sonic Grey Pearl.
*Exclusive and driver-focused interior* The cabin of the All-New Civic Type R enhances the exhilaration of driving with emotive, performance-focused details and features that set it apart from the crowd. This includes exclusive red seats, carpet and trim, a redesigned and decidedly sporty-looking aluminum shift knob, and a Type R plate on the dash.
The driver and front passenger sit lower than before in new, lightweight, heavily bolstered sports seats with suede-effect upholstery, offering exceptional support and comfort on the track and during long drives. However, good visibility is ensured through the use of thinner pillars, relocated side mirrors, and a lower bonnet.
To better support performance driving, the Type R’s exclusive new 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster features clean, easy-to-read graphics and an extensive selection of displays. A second new meter design is exclusive to the Type R’s +R mode and allows the driver to obtain necessary information instantly, with the engine rpm, and gear position placed at the top. A racing-inspired illuminated rev indicator located above the gauge cluster gives the driver a quick indication of engine rpm during performance driving.
Technology has been smartly integrated into the All-New Civic Type R’s cabin, all focused on an enhanced and exhilarating experience for the driver. This includes a new 9-inch colour touchscreen – the largest touchscreen ever in a Type R – with Android Auto™ and wireless Apple CarPlay® compatibility. Qi-compatible wireless charging and a Bose Centerpoint premium sound system, which was custom-engineered for the interior of the 11th-generation Civic, are also standard.
A new and enhanced version of the trendsetting Honda LogR® Performance Datalogger combines the Type R’s onboard computer and sensors with a new built-in vehicle app.
This helps the driver to monitor and record a variety of performance parameters in real time when driving on the track or other closed courses.
Honda LogR® no longer requires a smartphone app, so drivers can use the on-board system to gain access to key features such as stopwatch to record lap times, a tyre friction circle in 3D motion that displays the maximum tyre force the vehicle can achieve, and an innovative scoring function that helps drivers improve their skills on the track.