Type R as we know it is dead

Type R as we know it is deadThankfully Honda is on our side, the side of the enthusiasts, because a few recent murmurings seem to indicate that it wants a performance product that slashes prices even further. We recently heard about an entry-level Civic Type R that could undercut the current Type R Touring’s price, but Stephen Collins, the director of Honda Australia, told CarAdvice that we could see a smaller, cheaper, and newer sports car from Honda entirely. “We’ve said it a number of times: we really want to dial up the sportiness of our range and our brand,” said Collins. “NSX is one part of that, Type R is another. But if anything else becomes available, we’d really be chasing that pretty hard.”

Beyond the eye-wincingly expensive NSX, this is the most talked about Honda in years. But is the hype real? This is our first chance to test the Type R on local soil and to see if its manic front-drive layout is capable of delivering thrills to rival the Ford Focus RS and Volkswagen Golf R, which, despite costing similar money, send their power to all four wheels.

Where it does let the side down is inside. There’s plenty of room and the driver’s touchpoints – steering wheel, gearknob, pedals – are excellent, as is the driving position, however, the infotainment system isn’t particularly slick and many of the materials feel cheap. A similar complaint can be levelled at the Focus RS, but the latest hot Golfs are much nicer places to sit.

The new Civic Type R isn’t perfect, nor will it appeal to everyone; some won’t be able to cop the styling and if you like a car to dance around the Honda isn’t particularly interested. However, it’s one of the most impressive, rewarding performance front-drivers we’ve driven and a car that’s going to prove a stern test for the current hot hatch hierarchy.

Type R as we know it is dead

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