By Steve & Tamami Laser
The production version of Honda’s all-new Civic Type R has been unveiled at a launch party ahead of Honda’s press conference at the Geneva Motor Show. This car is designed to rekindle – or start anew – a love affair with the Civic. Will this object of desire be limited to European enthusiasts? Designed and engineered as a “race car for the road,” Honda says it will be “the most extreme Type R ever built, with blistering performance and thrilling dynamics that set new standards in the segment.”
A world-first application of Honda’s new 2.0 liter VTEC Turbo engine, aggressive styling and new chassis technologies combine to deliver “one of the most immersive and rewarding driving experiences available in any sector.” The Type R is due to go on sale this summer in Europe. (And we’re hoping it will come to America.)
The new Civic Type R will be powered by the most extreme and high-performing engine in the 22-year history of the red “H” badge, signaling the start of a new performance era for the Honda brand.
Let’s take a closer look at what Honda Europe has to say about this extremely hot hatch.
The following news release is courtesy of Honda Motor Europe:
All-new Turbocharged 2.0-liter VTEC Turbo Engine
At the heart of the Civic Type R is an all-new, direct-injected turbocharged 2.0 liter VTEC Turbo gas engine, which delivers “power, torque and performance figures unmatched in the front-wheel drive hot hatch segment.” Peak power output is 310 PS* at 6,500 rpm, and peak torque is 400 Nm* at 2,500 rpm – both higher than any previous Honda Type R model.
Red-lining at 7,000 rpm, the engine – part of Honda’s next-generation Earth Dreams Technology series – features an advanced new turbocharger with VTEC technology that boosts low-end torque and delivers sustained acceleration.
Honda says the Civic Type R’s performance from 0-to-100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5.7 seconds* makes it the fastest accelerating front-wheel drive hatchback. And its top speed, where permitted, is 270 km/h (167 mph)*. The new engine is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox.
Designed and Developed for High-Speed Stability
The styling changes that are unique to the Civic Type R give the car an aggressive, purposeful stance, yet almost all have a functional purpose. The sleek and aerodynamically efficient design reflects a car developed to perform at speed. The focus on aerodynamics has ensured high-speed stability and high levels of downforce.
To achieve this aim, the Civic Type R was subject to exhaustive aerodynamic analysis, testing and development. The development team pursued its objectives through computer-based CFD modelling and wind tunnel testing at Honda’s dedicated automotive motorsports facility in Sakura, Japan, home of Honda’s Formula One engine development.
This development work was validated through extensive prototype testing both on the road and on track, including at the Suzuka Formula One circuit, the Nürburgring Nordschleife and at the company’s Takasu test facility.
A new, almost completely flat underside aids airflow under the vehicle and combines with a rear diffuser to optimise downforce – effectively ‘sucking’ the car onto the road.
The rear wing has been reimagined from the Type R Concept. The structure of the airfoil – its angle, height and shape as well as its vertical end plates – have been carefully engineered to optimize downforce without causing a significant increase in drag at higher speeds. This helps improve road-holding abilities, particularly through high-speed corners.
A wide front splitter and deep side skirts also manage airflow and reduce lift, while the front bumper has been shaped specifically to inhibit air turbulence around the front wheels, enhancing high-speed stability and reducing lift forces.
Heat management was another major focus for the design team. Enlarged upper and lower grilles in the front bumper allow greater volume of cooling air into the engine bay. The airflow is channelled to outlet vents above the wheels on the front quarter panels and vents at the trailing edges of the widened front wheel arches to provide greater cooling and ventilation for the high-output engine.
New lightweight, high rigidity 19-inch alloy wheels, unique to the Type R, complement the visual changes. They fill the enlarged wheel arches with 235/35R19 tires that were developed specially for the Type R.
To help the driver manage the Type R’s power, the car is equipped with a high performance Brembo brake package, developed specifically for the car. At the front, four-piston calipers apply braking force to 350 mm drilled discs.
The Type R is available in five distinctive colors plus Championship White – shared with successive generations of Type R vehicles. Buyers can choose from Crystal Black (pearlescent), Polished Metal (metallic), Brilliant Sporty Blue (metallic) and Milano Red.
Type R’s Cabin Dressed with a Sporting Ambience
A range of upgrades within the cabin reinforce the Type R’s sporting character. As with previous Type R models, the gearshift knob is made from machined aluminium alloy. High-backed sports seats, trimmed in suede-effect black fabric with red double stitching, provide driver and front-seat passenger with lateral support during harder cornering.
Matching red double stitching also appears on the black leather-clad steering wheel and black gearshift boot. The headliner is trimmed in black fabric.
New Suspension Technologies for a Rewarding Drive
A new four-point Adaptive Damper System, developed specifically for the Type R, enables continuous independent control of each wheel to deliver exceptional road holding, limit wheel-load transfer during sharp acceleration and deceleration, and to maintain a stable, flat ride. Honda says It’s also designed to provide a comfortable ride in everyday driving.
An advanced Dual Axis Strut Front Suspension system helps to reduce torque steer by 50 percent compared to the standard Civic’s suspension, enhancing high-speed stability, cornering and steering feel. At the rear, Type R’s H-shaped torsion beam suspension is constructed with a bespoke “crushed pipe” which improves rear roll rigidity by 180 percent, enhancing stability in high-speed corners.
These systems are complemented by Dual Pinion Electric Power Steering, which helps to deliver rapid yet linear steering response and abundant feel.
New ‘+R’ Mode Increases Responses for Enhanced Driving
The new Civic Type R will mark the debut of the new ‘+R’ button that increases the response of various chassis and drivetrain systems. The result is an even more intense driving experience, ideal for the track and designed to be appreciated by the sports-driving enthusiast.
When +R mode is activated, engine responsiveness is heightened, with torque-mapping changed to a more aggressive and performance-focused setting. Steering receives reduced power assistance and is more responsive to driver inputs. Basic damping force from the new four-point Adaptive Damper System is increased by 30 percent. This means the behavior of the car is firmer and more agile for high-performance handling.
All-new GT Pack Offers Further Enhancements
Customers will have the option to specify their new Civic Type R with an all-new GT Pack. Externally, the GT Pack adds signature red highlights to the front and rear splitters, but it’s under the skin where the GT Pack’s most significant upgrades will be found.
The driver will benefit from extra convenience features such as front and rear parking sensors, dusk-sensing headlamps, rain-sensing automatic wipers and power folding mirrors. Integrated Garmin satellite navigation (with four years of free map updates) is added to the Honda Connect infotainment system. Audiophiles will be attracted by the addition of a CD player and a premium eight-speaker, 320 watt stereo system upgrade.
Passengers will appreciate automatic dual zone climate control air conditioning, and sophistication in the cabin is also boosted by red ambient lighting.
The GT Pack also includes Honda’s Advanced Driver Assist Systems. This suite of sensor-based safety technologies includes Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition system, High-Beam Support System, Blind Spot Information and Cross Traffic Monitor. Honda’s City-Brake Active system will be fitted as standard.
The all-new Honda Civic Type R will go on sale across Europe from this summer. Full vehicle specifications will be announced closer to the on-sale date.
*Honda internal figures
News source, reproduced news release, and photos courtesy of Honda Motor Europe. Civic Type R information applies to models intended to be sold in Europe and is subject to change without notice.
Story (intro commentary) 2015 on CarNichiWa.com