The Honda Civic Type R nameplate is officially back in SA, now boasting turbo power and a front-wheel-drive Nurburgring record to boot. We’ve finally got prices for you…
Yes we’ve already road tested a pre-launch version of the new turbocharged Type R (revisit our thoughts here) but what we didn’t know at the time was the price tag associated with all that Nurburgring-crushing performance. Now that the local launch has finally taken place, we know the new Type R, available only in limited numbers, will retail for R586 400, this includes a five-year/200 000km warranty and a five-year/90 000km service plan. Impressed with that, or too much for a front-wheel drive hot hatch?
Well, let’s not forget what you get for your hard-earned Rands. A 2.0-litre four-banger producing far more torque than previously – 400Nm vs 193Nm. Power too is up from 148 to 228kW. A mechanical limited-slip differential up front means it will accelerate from 0-100kph in just 5.7sec, and cling to the road heroically in the bends before topping out at 270kph.
A bone-breaking MacPherson strut front/torsion-beam rear arrangement means it’s firm and direct and thanks to adaptive dampers at all four corners it can be left in normal mode and used as a daily too. Pushing the +R button firms the dampers by 30 per cent and sharpens the throttle response and steering. The result is an appreciably aggressive machine at speed.
In a segment cluttered by ‘safe’ style offerings the Honda breaks the mould with an over the top aesthetic that’s perfectly in tune with its performance nature, and one that, to our road tester, changes the front-wheel drive hot hatch blueprint for good.
The pertinent issue is what of the competition? Here’s how we see the uber-hatch competition stacking up – let us know which you’d take: