2015 Geneva Motor Show: Honda Civic Type R

Production version of highly anticipated hot hatch finally revealed

THE Honda Civic Type R has finally been revealed in production guise, bearing a final power figure of 228kW. That means that the front-wheel-drive hatch’s 2.0-litre turbocharged four will have less power than the all-wheel drive Ford Focus RS, which is claimed to be ‘more than 235kW’, but that’s a moot point as the return of the Civic Type R after a five-year hiatus will ultimately be about point-to-point performance.

While it’s been on sale in Europe since 1 December 2014, Honda has only now released full details of the yet-to-be-confirmed for Australia Type R on the eve of the 2015 Geneva motor show. The exterior is not a revelation as it’s nearly identical to the gaggle of concept versions show at previous motor shows, but we’re not tired of the muscly, bold and aggressive lines that sit on 19-inch alloy wheels. The low nose, defined splitter and almost completely flat floor show that the R means business, and that rear wing is one serious parting shot.

That 2.0-litre four-cylinder is the first Type R to run forced induction, with its new turbocharger assisting low-end torque just as in other turbocharged Geneva show stars such as the Ferrari 488 GTB. The Honda makes 228kW at 6500rpm with 400Nm of torque from 2500rpm, a massive step up from the previous models 148kW at 7800rpm, and 193Nm from 5600rpm. Of course, it employs Honda’s VTEC (variable valve timing system) that allows it to rev hard all the way to 7000rpm, and a 0-100km/h claim of 5.7sec and a 270km/h V-max.

While that’s not all that fast when faced with the forthcoming Audi RS3 Sportback with its 0-100km/claim of 4.3sec and 280km/h top speed, the Type R is offered only as a six-speed manual, so there’s no blink-of-the-eye gear changes. Honda also publically declared that the super Civic is gunning for the Nürburgring front-wheel-drive record lap time set by the RenaultSport Megane 275 Trophy-R in 2014 at 7min 54.36sec. The Renault’s output is a relatively paltry 201kW, showing that in this instance it is chassis talent, not grunt, that makes the machine.

Part of the kit includes four-piston Brembo brakes up front, with 350mm drilled discs, as well as a clever "Dual Axis" front suspension set-up that Honda claims will reduce torque-steer by 50 per cent. There’s also an adaptive chassis, with an R+ mode that stiffens the dampers by 30 per cent, while sharpening the electric power steering (yes, it has it) and throttle response.

The Type-R is offered in five colours – the Championship White shown here, or Crystal Black, Polished Metal, Brilliant Sporty Blue and Milano Red.

While not yet confirmed for Australia, the Civic Type R is expected to get the go-ahead for local sales, but may not arrive until 2017 according to Honda Australia boss, Stephen Collins. When it does arrive, expect it to cost more than the previous version’s $39,990.

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