This new kid has been the talk of the town as of late.
Boasting a 306hp V-tec turbo charged engine, the new Honda Civic Type R send all that power through the front wheels and onto the road with infallible confidence. Planting your foot allows the vehicle to spring forward with little to no torque steer thanks to the magical "dual axis front strut suspension"
I'm not going to get into very specific technical details because that's boring. This car was not built to be boring. The Type R has been modeled off of something you would find in a transformers movie. The red trim and "carbon fibre"
The body kit doesn't allow you to take it very seriously at first. The more you walk around it the more you see the differences between the lower trim Civics and this one, most noticeably the side skirts and front/rear splitters. It's stance does have a menacing presence to it, forcing you to look twice, especially at that wing...
Jumping inside you're greeted with bucket seats that hug you nicely but not to firm. The seating position is ultimately perfect (even for 6'2 me), after some adjustment of the steering wheel you really feel like you're in a Hot Hatch. Like the new Golf R, the gauge cluster is completely digital. Rev counter, speedometer, fuel and temperature are all neatly displayed in tidy graphics in front of you. (Put the vehicle in to +R mode and the gauges come to life and glow in a deadly red hue)
Taking off onto the highway was the perfect opportunity to test this "No torque steer" claim. Low and behold it lives up to its fame that I've read so much about. During the drive I played around with the 3 different "modes" the Type R had to offer. In normal mode, steering felt nice and firm and the Suspension was solid but not unbearable. In +R the steering felt much heavier, more of a racing feel. The suspension becomes very hard. potholes and man hole covers start to become very obvious and you're daily drive becomes a slalom course. Toss it back into COMFORT mode and everything relaxes. The ride is soft and small abrasions on the road become unnoticeable. The steering becomes very light and responsive.
One thing that I've had difficulty doing as of late is trying to find flaws in these vehicles. As a huge fan of anything with 4 wheels and internal combustion engine, I don't know what to look for when I think of consumer issues. My crew believes that looks could be a big con of this vehicle. To brash and overly gaudy, not very serious. The rear visibility is completely obstructed by the massive wing and the infotainment system could be prettier.
These are all things that I don't really care for because when you think about what your buying, is it supposed to be serious? This is the embodiment of what a hot hatch is supposed to be. An In-your-face head turner. Honda has done a very good job in showing the world that life isn't always serious.
All in all this is a phenomenal vehicle. An engineering masterpiece with a future on the roads ahead.
That being said, can you justify paying $50K for a hot hatch without AWD?
Find one and drive one.
You be the judge.