KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — It’s here in Malaysia – the world’s fastest FWD production car, the Honda Civic Type R. With 310PS on tap from its 2.0 litre turbocharged engine, which also delivers 400Nm of torque from as low down as 2,500 rpm in a flat torque curve all the way to 4,500 rpm, the Honda Civic Type R does the Nurgurbring circuit in 7 minutes 43.80 seconds, a good 7 seconds faster than its predecessor.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Honda Malaysia, Mr Toichi Ishiyama said, “At Honda, we are committed to offer our products that are of high value and also advanced in technology to provide joy to our customers. But we have also taken pride in ensuring we retain the core fundamental value in all our products which embodies the elements of ‘Fun to Drive’. The All-New Civic Type R is a global model that not only carries the most advanced automotive technology, but also expresses Honda’s Racing Spirit & ‘Fun to Drive’ DNA. This is what makes Honda unique – we strive to ensure all our models provide the joy of driving to our customers,” he added.
The Civic Type R is built on the same platform as the base Honda Civic, but with special reinforcements to make a more rigid body; in addition, the suspension parts are re-tuned to cater for improved driving dynamics – bigger suspension members, including the use of aluminium parts to reduce un-sprung weight, a different strut layout, different geometry and a multi-link suspension for the rear. Wheels are 20-inch, and massive 4-pot Brembos at the front ensure stopping power.
Those who complain about the harsh ride of the previous Type R Civic will be glad to know that the new R has three driving modes. Drivers have the option to select Comfort, Sport or +R modes. The driving modes control the Adaptive Damper system, Drive-by-wire throttle, the Electronic Power Steering, Vehicle Stability Assist, traction control and brake system. By the way, the Civic Type R is only available in manual form, with a 6-speed close ratio transmission; the consolation is, it comes with a ‘rev-match’ feature that blips the throttle when you down-shift, so knowing how to do ‘heel & toe’ is optional.
One does wonder whether FF (front engine front wheel drive) can take 310 PS – at a special preview arranged with the Assistant Large Project Leader (ALPL) Mr Hideki Kakinuma, we put those concerns to rest during a special test session at MAEPS– the suspension geometry comes with anti-lift, which minimizes lift during take-off.
Those who are used to the screaming and high-revving naturally aspirated engines might think the new Civic Type S is slower because the engine does not scream as much, but it is much faster, as the Nurgurbring lap times easily show.
Inside, the Civic Type R gets special sporty and lightweight bucket seats with red panel pin stripes. Every Type R is built with its own serial number plate strategically positioned on the centre console, a constant reminder of the exclusive status of this car.
Exclusivity brings us of course to the retail price – it is RM320,000 excluding insurance –a t time of launch, a total of 60 orders have been collected. If you make your order right now after reading this report, you might have to wait a few months.