Five Reasons the New Honda Civic Type R is a Big Deal

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick
five reasons the new honda civic type r is a big deal

The last one was great. The new Honda Civic Type R should be even better.

We’re big fans of hot hatches here at AutoGuide. How could we not be? They’re practical yet a manageable size, fun but not irresponsibly quick, desirable yet (relatively) affordable. They’re the everyday heroes of the performance car world, the Peter Parkers. And the Civic Type R is one of the best.

Honda has teased out more details on the upcoming 2023 Civic Type R. We know how much horsepower it’ll be putting down (315 hp, up 9 from before), we know the transmission choices (one, a manual) and the number of gears therein (six). It’s a recipe very similar to the last model, and that’s no bad thing. Even in its twilight years, the outgoing Type R was a blast to drive. Honda has chosen not to toss that all out, but to refine the formula. So here, in no particular order, is why we’re looking forward to new Honda Civic Type R 2.0.

The Existence of the Toyota GR Corolla

five reasons the new honda civic type r is a big deal
SEE ALSO: 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Pricing Starts From $36,995; Morizo Edition Costs $50,995

Yeah, we went there. The GR Corolla is the new kid on the block. While its dimensions are similar (if shorter), it takes a very different approach to the classic hot hatch formula. A tiny, 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder sits under the vented hood, sending all its 300 horsepower and 273 pound-feet to an active AWD system. The special Morizo Edition tears out the rear seats, adds stickier tires, and pumps the torque figure to 295—the same as the old Type R.

What’s more, the Corolla joins the CTR as one of the very cars out there that not only come with a manual transmission, but only one. If that doesn’t send a clear message that only enthusiast drivers need apply, we don’t know what would. We expect the Type R to climb up in price for 2023, too, which would give the $36,995 Corolla a further price advantage.

More Cross-Consumer Appeal

five reasons the new honda civic type r is a big deal

As standout as it was, the outgoing Civic’s styling was more of an acquired taste. It looked like a Pokémon had had a wonderful time at Protractors ‘R Us. This new one naturally burrows from the new-for-2022 Civic hatchback, with a cleaner, simpler look all around. Or at least, it was clean before the Honda team chucked a big rear wing on the trunklid. Or a gaping scowl of a front bumper.

The same story continues inside. The latest Civic interior takes a big step forward in terms of material quality and infotainment. Sprinkle in Honda’s awesome red Ultrasuede bucket seats for Type R duty, and you’ve got a quality space to spend time, be it on the daily commute, or the occasional track day.

The End of the Subaru WRX STI

five reasons the new honda civic type r is a big deal
SEE MORE: Subaru WRX STI is Dead (For Now)

Pour one out for the Subaru WRX STI. The high-performance model from the Pleiades brand was confirmed to be on ice back in March. That leaves the regular WRX as the sole performance torch-carrier for Subaru.

Sure, this latest WRX is the fittest one yet, with healthy stats of 271 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The body cladding might not be to everyone’s tastes either, but given the WRX’s rally racing roots, a protective layer lining the lower edges of the car, not to mention the extra ride height, seem like winners to us. Subaru also offers the WRX with both a manual and automatic CVT, broadening the sedan’s appeal. Now if only it would bring the hatchback back…

The End of the Acura NSX

five reasons the new honda civic type r is a big deal
SEE ALSO: 2022 Acura NSX Type S Is a 600-HP Final Bow For Hybrid Supercar

Oh NSX, we didn’t deserve you. Honda’s fiendishly candid supercar was long called the Acura NSX on our shores, and for this generation it was even built in the US. Like the original aluminum-bodied wonder, the second-generation hybrid supercar is fiendishly clever, and as easy to drive around town as an Accord.

With the final run of 2022 NSX Type S models already spoken for, there’s a performance car gap in the Honda/Acura lineup—one the Type S versions of the TLX and MDX can’t fill. The Civic Type R might be a humble hatchback, but it places a priority on driver enjoyment in a way few cars do. It’s a halo model, and with the NSX retiring, Honda (and Acura) needs just that.

Proof Performance Cars Still Matter

five reasons the new honda civic type r is a big deal

More than any of the above, the 2023 Honda Civic Type R shows that performance cars still matter, even for a company like Honda. As the industry quickly pivots to electric vehicles, it can be easy to feel like everyday performance models are taking the hit. Every week we say hi to a new crossover, or an Unobtanium-powered hypercar with an annual production limit of three.

The last Civic Type R promised something simple: an incredible, uncomplicated drive. And it delivered in spades; look no further than the used prices they’re going for. That the 2023 model uses so much of what made the last one great doesn’t make it a missed opportunity. It means Honda knows its audience. We can’t wait to see how the Type R stacks up.

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