Honda Civic Type R

GT

Honda Civic Type R, front
Honda Civic Type R, front, action
Honda Civic Type R, seats
Honda Civic Type R, interior
Honda Civic Type R, diffuser
Honda Civic Type R, front, static
Honda Civic Type R, G-force meter
Honda Civic Type R, rear

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.

FAST FACTS

Honda Civic Type R GT

Price: £32,300

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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