By Mike Torpey on 2016-09-11 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Honda Civic Type R
DEVELOPING what manufacturers like to call ‘a race car for the road' usually involves some compromises.
Go for the full racetrack set-up and the car can often feel like a racehorse that won't take hold of the bridle - not the easiest or most comfortable of conveyances.
Lean more towards the everyday sports car and that icy edge, the sensation of unharnessed fury, can feel a touch dampened.
Honda made lovers of its fabled hot hatch, the Civic Type R, wait five years for the latest generation model to hit the streets and after sampling a top spec GT version I can say the wait was worth every second.
The car ispowered by the most extreme Type R engine yet to be built. It's a turbocharged 2.0-litre direct injection petrol unit with an easy-shift six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive.
A race car for the road, you bet it is. The Type R is hardcore, really hardcore, but without the rough edged, stripped out, bone-shaking characteristics of a competition vehicle.
And that surprised me, because despite all that savage power the Honda behaves in a civilised manner and, rear spoiler apart, looks racy rather than overblown.
In a straight line it's both thunderous and supremely stable, offering heaps of torque, while round bends it grips like a limpet.
In fact an almost completely flat underside helps airflow under the car and, along with a rear diffuser, increases downforce to help suck the Type R into the road.
This is a car that almost compels you to drive fast, aided by the positioning of the six-speed manual gearshift - and if you need to brake late, thecar comes with a Brembo package developed specifically for the vehicle.
So on the gloss black alloy wheels at the front, there are 350mm discs - the largest ever to have been installed on a production Type R model - which are drilled to help cooling under extreme load.
The big numbers are 0-62 in a fleeting 5.7 seconds and a potential top speed of 167mph.
The CO2 figure could be worse at 170g/km and though the official average fuel return is 38.7mpg it's realistically one for the dreamers, especially if the +R mode for a more track-focused experience, is engaged.
Inside, the high backed black and red sports seats are both attractive and body-hugging, there's plenty of room for adults in the rear and the boot is spacious too.
And the multi info display provides Type R specific read-outs like acceleration time, lap time and boost pressure.
Opting for the GT version adds stuff like parking sensors, red ambient lighting, Adaptive Cruise Control, a 320-watt sound upgrade and a suite of sensor-based safety features for an extra £2,300.
Honda Civic Type R GT
Mechanical: 310bhp, 1,996cc 4-cyl turbocharged petrol driving front wheels via six-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 168mph
0-62mph: 5.7 seconds
Combined MPG: 38.7
Insurance Group: 33
C02 emissions: 170g/km
Bik rating: 31%
Warranty: 3yrs/90,000 miles
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