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Honda has unveiled a special edition of its incredible Civic Type R hot hatch which the brand claims will make the Type R “the most dynamic front wheel drive hatch available”.
From our experience, that’s already the case. But there are some lightweight components and tweaks that Honda reckons will make the Type R even more tenacious.
Taking a leaf out of Renault’s book, the Limited Edition will have a strictly limited production, think of it as a Japanese alternative to the Renault Megane Trophy R.
Pictured in the exclusive ‘Sunlight Yellow’ hue it’s pretty damn yellow, in fact, it’s as yellow as the hallowed Integra DC2 from the 90s.
There’s more to this car than a colour change; the limited edition Civic Type R trades a rather good set of Continental SportContact 6 tyres for the zenith of track rubber: the Michelin Cup 2.
The tacky Michelins are mounted to a 20-inch set of five double-spoke forged BBS alloys – not the crazy carbon wheels currently that were available for the Type R.
Honda hasn’t stopped at wheels and tyres, the boffins have tweaked both steering and damper settings for this limited edition to make the most of the prodigious grip on offer from sticky Cup 2 tyres.
A bright red set of Recaro bucket seats adorn the interior of the Limited Edition – yet another call back to the DC2 type R – as does a numbered plaque and an alcantara appointed steering wheel.
Track specials have traditionally ditched rear seats to drop weight, not so the Civic Type R. Instead Honda chose to be more specific, removing sound insulation and ditching heavy seats to shave grams.
However, there is no claim on the amount of weight shed, or whether the Type R Limited Edition has challenged competitors for Nurburgring bragging rights. Stay tuned for that.
Honda has left the engine untouched; the two-litre four-cylinder retains power outputs of 228kW at 6,500 RPM with 400Nm of torque available between 2,500 and 4,500 RPM.
In response to the data logging software ubiquitous in the segment – Hyundai’s i30 N has it, so does the Megane RS – Honda is debuting their new LogR system in this Type R.
It’s pretty advanced too, integrating with a smartphone app the system will be able to calculate driver skill level with a unique algorithm, display the car’s performance, G force readings and record lap time data.
Honda says the driver-smoothness algorithm can be applied in regular driving to assess metrics like brake and throttle application, providing hints and scores so drivers can better themselves.
We presume this system will make its way into future Honda performance models, too.
Pricing for the Civic Type R will be detailed closer to its launch in the first quarter of 2021, Honda will gauge interest as interest is registered via their website.Read more 2020 Honda Civic hatch detailed: Safer, dearer, more orange
For 2020 Honda has updated the Civic hatch with safety tech, design tweaks and higher pricing across the range, find full pricing at the end of this article. This comes after the Civic sedan was updated earlier in 2019 with Apple CarPlay and refreshed looks.
The Civic is Honda’s longest-running nameplate. When it emerged in 1972 it caused a serious stir-up with its intelligent packaging, revvy engines and engaging dynamics.
Level of safety features and in-car tech have seen an explosion in the last five years throughout the small-car segment and its seen manufacturers updating their models more often than ever to “keep up with the joneses”.
For 2020, that means Honda has had to up the level of standard safety tech for their mid-range VTi-L and sporty RS model with their complete Sensing safety suite, previously only available on the range-topping VTi-LX.
Honda’s Sensing package includes switchable lane-keep assist with a permanent road departure mitigation system, high and low-speed AEB, forward collision warning and adaptive cruise with stop-and-go capability. Auto high-beams are added to all models equipped with the Sensing suite.
That means that all Civics powered by the peppy 1.5-litre turbocharged engine are now equipped with the sensing suite across sedan and hatch.
The engine remains untouched for 2020 with outputs of 127kW/220Nm with drive sent to the front wheels only via a CVT style transmission, sadly, there’s no manual available.
Inside the hatch has seen some upgrades for 2020 too, with updated materials including geometrically designed trims, instrument cluster, push-button climate control adjustment, while shortcut buttons and a volume knob have been added to the infotainment system, hooray!
Naturally, all models are still equipped with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability to make up for Honda’s lacklustre infotainment system.
Front and rear bumpers have been redesigned for 2020 with a more aggressive look with body-colour accents, a new front grille and a new (but non-functional) rear diffuser for the RS grade.
All the grades receive updated wheel designs too; the sporty RS gets huge 18-inch items shod in a very sticky set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres while the VTi-L makes do with smaller 17-inch items.
The updated styling is welcome on the 10th generation civic, not to say it looked old, but the extended black in place of chrome gives the whole car a sportier look. It may not be the best looking hatch but it certainly exudes some Japanese character.
Although the prices are up across the board, we reckon that the VTi-L and RS get more bang-for-buck in the safety department, 2020 models are on sale now.Read more