Honda Civic Type R review – design

Unlikely to be lost in a car park, the Civic Type R is one of those mad designs that either will or won’t work for you

Evo rating
Price
from £31,725
  • Balance; powertrain; brakes; driver engagement – it does it all
  • Some will never be able to get past its looks

The ultra hot hatch is rarely interested in such mundane things as subtlety, but compared to even the outlandish Focus RS, the Civic Type R has taken aggressive styling to another level. The foundation for all this visual chaos is an equally complex base car, with standard model Civics looking super aggressive, even in lowly three-cylinder form. The all-new hatchback body is based on a new global Civic saloon, which has influenced the longer, lower silhouette.

Honda's recent exterior design language is based around a new grill motif, which has spread rapidly throughout the Honda range. In some standard trims this is a massive chrome slab, which connects the headlights and grill together, but in Type R trim is mercifully painted black. From there however the whole design gets increasingly complex, with a scoop in the bonnet, widened wheel arches, huge (mostly fake) front intakes and that enormous rear wing

Cast your eye on the roof and you’ll also see some strange humps running from front to rear. These, Honda says, are vortex generators, cleaning up the airflow before it reaches the rear wing. Below the tailgate, triple exhaust tips (curiously similar to those seen on the Ferrari 458 Italia) finish off the rear treatment.

The overall effect is arresting, and makes garish rivals look subtle and subtle rivals invisible. Whether the looks sweeten or sour the whole car is up to the individual, but at least you would never lose it in a car park.

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