Honda Civic Type R review - ignore the looks, this is an astounding hot hatch - Design

Aesthetically displeasing perhaps, but the FK8 Civic Type R is magnificent. An honest real-world superhero

Evo rating
Price
from £31,725
  • Doesn’t drive like a hot hatch, but a superbly engineered sports car that happens to be front-wheel drive
  • Engine is hugely effective, but lacks some character. Just look at it…

Design

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 off 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 wheelarches, 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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