Road to Type R – evo meets owners at Honda HQ - New Honda Civic Type R

evo and Honda UK host a meeting for Type R owners - and bring every generation of Civic Type R together

With 306bhp, Honda’s latest Civic Type R – a sensible, spacious family hatchback – is comfortably more powerful than the NSX it dwarfs, and its 167mph top speed falls just 1mph shy of a car that worried Ferraris in the early 1990s. It's hard not to be impressed by the progress.

Perhaps its placement adjacent to the NSX is unflattering – the new hatch looks enormous, bulky, more than a little fussy and thanks to its aerodynamic addenda, and rather under-wheeled next to the pert sports car.

Not that the owners really noticed. Surrounded by existing Type R drivers throughout the day, its impact speaks for itself. It looks aggressive, purposeful and squat, ready to set another class-leading Nurburgring lap time. Anyway, all cars have grown in recent years, and few will cross-shop a modern hot hatch with a decades-old sports car.

Any real comparison is unfair, though man-maths won't let us forget that used examples of the NSX still fall within the new Civic's sticker price.

The questions from assembled Type R fans barely stopped. How fast? 167mph, and 62mph in 5.7 seconds from rest. How much power? 306bhp. Torque? 295lb ft, about 50 per cent more than the last two Civic Rs, produced at 2500rpm – less than half the revs of peak torque in the older models. Differential? Honda is being cagey. Suspension? Dual-axis struts up front and a revised torsion bar at the rear. Gearbox? Manual, remarkably – no dual-clutch auto is confirmed. You can read more about the car in our full guide.

Reception seems generally positive, though. The progress over the NSX is expected. The progress over the car's rivals from Renault, SEAT, Ford and more is what will really count, and Type R owners are a loyal bunch.

Where the car may falter is in owners' desire to personalise their cars. The new Type R certainly seems less well suited to such personalisation. It already wears a deep, distinctive body kit. There’s room for a set of arch-filling wheels (literally and metaphorically), but we're not convinced on the effect of such large rims on handling. And while turbocharged engines are certainly ripe for upgrades, will the front wheels take more than the standard 306bhp?

Most Popular

All-electric Ferrari confirmed for 2025 reveal
Ferrari badge

All-electric Ferrari confirmed for 2025 reveal

Ferrari has confirmed its first EV, but first three new models are due in the coming months
15 Apr 2021
Jaguar XJ41 – Dead on arrival
Jaguar XJ41

Jaguar XJ41 – Dead on arrival

The blighted ’80s ‘F-type’, the demise of which led to the creation of the Jaguar XK8 and launched a new era for Aston Martin
8 Apr 2021
Peugeot 508 PSE 2021 review – high performance hybrid takes on S4 and M340i
Peugeot 508 PSE – front
Peugeot 508

Peugeot 508 PSE 2021 review – high performance hybrid takes on S4 and M340i

New 355bhp petrol-hybrid 508 from Peugeot Sport Engineered has Audi’s S4 licked
14 Apr 2021