By Patrick James on 2019-03-31 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Honda Civic TYPE R
GT 2.0 i-VTEC
WHEN it comes to hot hatches, you could hardly accuse the firecracker Honda Civic Type R of being subtle.
A full-fat hot hatch and not afraid to flaunt it, the latest version has been re-engineered from the ground up. While the two-litre turbo charged petrol engine continues to deliver performance by the bucketload.
The stonking 320ps of power means it can hit 62mph in just 5.7 seconds and will go on to a top speed of 169mph.
It is also the fastest Type R ever around the Nurburgring Nordschleife racetrack, with a lap time of 7min 43.8sec, with the bespoke chassis, suspension and steering setup maximising power transfer and high-speed stability and the huge Brembo brakes delivering terrific stopping power.
If anything it looks more blinged up than its equally feisty predecessor, being wider, longer, and lower, making it more aerodynamic, with short overhangs and muscular, large wheel-arches cat-like projector lights and sculpted front and rear intakes.
The GT Pack adds red highlights to the front and rear, splitters at the rear end, where, just in case you hadn't already twigged, the threel tailpipes are positioned in the centre of the rear diffuser. Main tailpipes on either side deliver exhaust flow from the engine, while a unique, smaller centre tailpipe controls the sonic tone of the engine.
For less drag their is a smooth underbody, front air curtain and not forgetting the huge spoiler. The interior is similarly sporty looking, although offering more space than ever. It has hugging sport bucket seats, trimmed in suede-effect black fabric with red double stitching while the rear seat backs split 60/40 to increase boot space.
The flat-bottomed multi-function sports steering wheel has red double stitching on the black leather, while red ambient lighting adds a further touch of class.
The centre console features a piano-black finish, and at thesits the seven-inch Honda CONNECT colour touch-screen display which controls navigation, climate, connectivity and infotainment and reversing camera.
A small TFT screen behind the wheel gives the driver instant information while the dash can be configured for different readouts, from economy to sport., plus features the likes of a digital lap timer and even a G-force meter, should you ever need it on a shopping trip.
It's not all about blistering pace, a neat innovation in the large boot area is the side-sliding tonneau cover, which can be operated with one hand for extra practicality.
On the road, there are three driving modes, including ‘Comfort' setting, the default ‘Sport' and super sporty ‘+R' modes - all of which tailor the suspension, steering geometry and throttle response of the car on demand, with Comfort, obviously giving a more comfortable ride.
The +R setting gives truly jaw-dropping performance, with stiffened suspension, sharper steering and instant response from the superb six-speed gearbox.
It can be hurled in to corners, on tracks, obviously, clinging limpet like at buttock-clenching speeds.
It's truly a driver's car, but still offer hatchback practicality with its large boot, 60/40 split rear seats, and when driven sedately decent economy.In spite of such performance it achieves CO2 emissions of 170g/km and reasonable fuel consumption of a claimed 38.7mpg.
Otherwise, as a day-to-day vehicle, it is fairly docile, if not the most comfortable of rides.
There are two versions with different trim and it was the more expensive GT version driven here.
The Honda Connect infotainment system is standard on this GT version and runs Android, employs the familiar ‘pinch, swipe and tap‘ functionality of a smartphone to access its features and apps.
In addition there is automatic dual zone climate control air conditioning, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, High-Beam Support System, Blind Spot Information, Cross Traffic Monitor and Traffic Sign Recognition System.
Honda Civic TYPE R GT 2.0 i-VTEC
Mechanical: 318bhp, 1,996cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 167mph
0-62mph: 5.8 seconds
Combined MPG: 38.7
Insurance Group: 33
C02 emissions: 177g/km
Bik rating: 36%
Warranty: 3yrs/90,000 miles
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