Honda to Re-enter Hot Hatch Competition with New Civic Type R

Posted by at 10:49 am on March 13, 2017

Honda’s 306-hp Civic Type R hatchback, which debuted last week at the Geneva auto show, targets rival hot hatches such as the Subaru WRX STI and Volkswagen Golf R. One thing it lacks though, is the all-wheel-drive setup those models offer as standard; the Type R is front-wheel drive only.

It aims to make up for the difference by coming in just a single trim level that includes goodies such as three driving modes, a limited-slip front differential, adaptive suspension, Brembo brakes and 20-inch wheels without pushing the price past $40,000 as its competitors do when loaded. Starting price is in the “mid-$30k range,” according to Honda.

The Type R is intended to plug a conspicuous though small-volume hole in Honda’s U.S. lineup last filled by the S2000 roadster in 2009. When it arrives in U.S. showrooms this spring, its goal is simple: Give dealers, enthusiasts and the brand proof that Honda’s thrill-seeking can still outshine its sensibility from time to time.

The Type R’s powertrain carries over from the previous model largely unchanged. At the heart is an Ohio-built 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder engine that makes 306 hp and 295 pounds-feet of torque.

Honda will bolt just one transmission to the Type R: a six-speed manual with a rev-matching feature that’s a first for the brand.

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