Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

HOT SAUCE; Honda Unleashes Its First Turbocharged Type R. JONATHAN CROUCH Reports

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

HOT SAUCE; Honda Unleashes Its First Turbocharged Type R. JONATHAN CROUCH Reports

Article excerpt

Byline: JONATHAN CROUCH

THE Honda Civic Type R returns, this time with 310PS beneath the bonnet thanks to forced induction. Drive goes to the front wheels via a six-speed manual box, so no change there, but under the skin, this thing's rammed with trick bits. It looks the real deal.

The headline figures are undeniably impressive. Power comes courtesy of a directinjected turbocharged 2.0 litre VTEC petrol engine, which really delivers a solid punch of both power and torque. Peak power output is 310PS at 6,500rpm, and peak torque is 400Nm at 2,500rpm.

If you still associate hot Hondas with having no torque, it's time to recalibrate. Red-lining at 7,000rpm, the turbocharged four-cylinder engine catapults the Civic to 62mph in 5.7 seconds, which is extremely brisk for a frontwheel drive car. As indeed is the top speed of 167mph. A short-throw six-speed manual transmission will satisfy the purists and the car is equipped with a Brembo brake package, with 350mm drilled discs up front.

A four-point Adaptive Damper System has been developed and an advanced Dual Axis Strut Front Suspension system helps to reduce torque steer by 50%.

At the rear, the Type R's Hshaped torsion beam suspension (which caused so much grumbling when the company abandoned a multi-link rear end) is further refined. Rear roll rigidity improves by 180%. There's also a +R button that heightens engine responsiveness and alters torque-mapping to a more aggressive and performance-focused setting.

The electric power steering receives reduced power assistance and the damping force is increased by 30%. It's like Honda's take on BMW's M Button. That 7m50s Nurburgring lap time? Although it was achieved with a preproduction spec car, Honda reckons it can go even faster with a production Type R. That's faster than a 996-generation Porsche 911 GT3. The Type R really amps up the otherwise slightly muted styling of the ninth-generation Civic. Honda's insistent that it's all functional and talks of the hours on the Nurburgring, being thrashed round the Takasu test track and forensic studies of the aerodynamics in the Sakura wind tunnel. …

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