Sorry Honda fans, because this is like rubbing salt in an open wound. The Civic Type R will be the best performance car Honda has ever built and chances are slim of it reaching the U.S.
Going on sale in Europe next year, this is said to be the ultimate Type R, besting any previous Type R version of the Civic, Integra, Accord and yes, even the legendary NSX.
For the first time ever in a Type R, power will come from a turbocharged engine, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder making over 276 hp. Based on Honda’s Earth Dreams family of engines, redline for the new engine is set at 7,000 RPM, which may seem low for a Type R, but this engine is also much more powerful than older engines.
With so much more torque being sent to the front wheels than most Honda’s are used to, a special steer axis system has been installed to the front transaxle to help eliminate torque steer. Basically, it’s a mechanical system that uses two supporting “kingpins” to keep the spinning wheels from pulling the car side to side under hard acceleration.
But the biggest news may be the adaptive damper system that automatically adjusts the front and rear suspension depending on driving conditions. Or if the driver wants, they can select the “+R” button on the steering wheel that is debuting in the Civic Type R. Not only does it put the dampers into the stiffest, sportiest setting, but it also adjusts the throttle, engine and steering for maximum responsiveness.
And finally, purists rejoice. For a refreshing change, Honda is rejecting the ultimate quest for lap times by not going with a dual clutch transmission. Instead, the driver gets to keep full control of shifting duties thanks to a six-speed manual. Hey, when a company makes some of the best manual transmissions on the market, why fix what isn’t broken?
Until the new NSX arrives sometime in the next few years, the Civic Type R will lay claim to the ultimate Honda performance machine. It’s just a shame we’ll probably never get to drive one.
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