Honda has built a weapon that relishes being caned on a difficult road yet retains impressive everyday manners – it might look like a refugee from the Fast and the Furious movie franchise, but underneath those wings and vents is a grown-up and accomplished performance car. The Type R was developed by Japanese drivers for the racetrack. Honda set a world record at the famous Nürburgring in Germany with a time of 7 minutes 4.38seconds for a lap.
Despite feeding 228kW/400Nm through just the front hoops courtesy of a 2.0-litre turbocharged four there is no need for all-wheel drive – at least in the dry – with wheel spin only ever an issue at full throttle in first gear. It makes peak power of 228kW and punches out 400Nm of torque from 2500rpm to 4500rpm.
A six-speed manual is the only available gearbox but the ratios are close and the shift is excellent, not that you’ll necessarily need to use it too often as the engine offers a broad spread of power – it’ll kill a V8 Mustang from 80-120km/h in sixth gear – and great throttle response.
4.5 stars out of 5
2017 Honda Civic Type R review Specs:
Body: 5-door, 4seat hatch
Engine: 1998cc inline-4cyl, DOHC, 16v, turbocharger
Power: 228kW @ 6500rpm
Torque: 400Nm @ 2500-4500rpm
Top Speed: 272km/h (claimed)