By Steve & Tamami Laser
The ultra-cool 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition is finally headed our way. Honda’s manufacturing facility in Swindon, UK, that builds the Type R, was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now that it’s up and running again, the first Limited Editions for the U.S. market are scheduled to go on sale at Honda dealers later this month.
While every Type R is coveted by owners and enthusiasts, we think this Limited Edition is likely to become a future collectible. Only 600 are planned to be built for the U.S. (out of a total run of 1,000), while its base MSRP of $43,995 helps to ensure exclusivity.
Meanwhile, Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd. announced in February a proposal to permanently close the Swindon plant next year (est. July 2021) as part of Honda’s global manufacturing restructure. This could spell the end of the current Type R. (Speculation: A replacement is likely in the works for the next generation Civic, yet we don’t know what form it would take, or where it could be built.)
Billed as the “most extreme version of the iconic Civic Type R ever made,” the Limited Edition features a lighter curb weight, higher-performance wheels and tires, and a driver-focused interior. Special Phoenix Yellow paint (called Sunlight Yellow for European models) is applied, along with a gloss black roof, mirrors, and hood vent.
Type R Limited Edition rides on special BBS lightweight forged alloy wheels shod with Michelin Cup 2 tires. The Active Damper System (ADS) gains unique programming, and so does the electrically assisted power steering. Honda says this results in an even more rewarding driving experience, especially on the track.
In this video from the Honda YouTube channel in Japan, the Civic Type R Limited Edition sets a new front-wheel-drive record at the world-renowned Suzuka Circuit. (video: Honda)
During its final performance evaluation in February, a Civic Type R Limited Edition development car, with the same specs as the Euro production version, set a record 2 minutes 23:993 seconds lap time for a front-drive car.
“The Type R Limited Edition reflects Honda’s dedication to refining the essence and driving pleasure of Type R as a sportscar and exceeding the expectations of our customers,” said Hideki Kakinuma (above), Civic Type R Project Leader. “The ‘advanced’ Type R which I envisioned at the beginning of this development is now a reality, and I am overwhelmed by the result and how our efforts have been rewarded.”
Under the hood, the Limited Edition retains the 2.0-liter VTEC Turbo-4 engine employed in the regular production Type R. Rated at 306 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque, it transmits power to the front wheels via a 6-speed close-ratio manual gearbox and limited-slip differential. Selecting from Comfort, Sport, or +R drive modes lets drivers customize vehicle response to their needs via modified throttle mapping, steering assist, and damping force.
Like the regular Type R, the Limited Edition features an Alcantara™-wrapped steering wheel, weighted shift knob, and Honda Sensing® suite of driver-assistive safety features. To help save weight, 28 pounds of sound deadening materials are removed from the roof, rear hatch, front fenders and dash, while the cargo cover, rear wiper, and rear heater ducts are also jettisoned.
To signify its authenticity, and significance in Civic’s history, each Type R Limited Edition sports a special plaque affixed to the center console with the build number (Euro model shown above).
While we don’t know what the future holds in store for the Civic Type R in 2022 and beyond, we do know that if we had the funds available in our piggy bank, and we managed to be one of the lucky few to attain ownership, a new 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition would be in our driveway.
For more information visit Honda.com
Features, specifications, MSRP (not including destination, taxes, license, and other charges), and launch dates for U.S. market models are subject to change without notice
News sources, photos and video courtesy of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Honda Motor Europe Ltd., and American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Story (commentary) © 2020 CarNichiWa.com