2023 Honda Civic Type R power confirmed

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Honda’s ‘FL5’ Civic Type R will arrive in Australia next year with 235kW of power and 420Nm of torque.

Honda has revealed what will almost certainly be its last-ever pure combustion hot hatchback – the new Honda Civic Type R. The car’s unveiling neatly coincides with both the 25th anniversary of the Civic Type R and the Civic’s 50th birthday.

The Japanese car maker has also now confirmed engine outputs of 235kW and 420Nm, representing a 7kw and 20Nm bump in performance.

The car continues with its front-wheel drive layout, despite many of the latest hot hatches – such as the Volkswagen Golf R and Mercedes-AMG A35 – utilising four-wheel drive to deploy power. Under the vented bonnet of the ‘FL5’ Type R is a 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four cylinder engine – an evolution of the unit powering the previous-generation ‘FK8’ Type R, itself a reworked version of the ‘FK2’ Type R’s powerplant.

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There’s a new turbocharger with a compact housing and a revised turbine blade, which makes for better airflow and thus more power.

The 235kW.420Nm output will make its way to the front wheels via a revised six-speed manual gearbox – featuring a new lever and an “optimised” gate pattern – and most likely a mechanical limited-slip differential. The latter is another detail Honda is omitting at this stage, and information about the suspension is also thin on the ground.

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However, the new Type R has already proven its pace, by setting the front-wheel drive lap record at Suzuka recently, going round the famed figure-8 layout in 2 minutes 23.120 seconds. That’s nearly nine-tenths of a second faster than the previous record holder, the extra special Civic Type R Limited Edition.

The latest Type R is based on Honda’s new 11th-generation Civic, which features a much cleaner exterior design than the 10th-gen car it replaces. This makes for a much less challenging-looking Civic Type R, although there are still plenty of suitably outlandish details, chief among which is the sizeable rear wing sitting on diecast aluminium mounts.

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Lower down there’s a new diffuser from the middle of which protrudes – once again – a triple-exit exhaust system. This time, though, the middle pipe is larger than the others, as opposed to smaller on the FK8. The diffuser, meanwhile, is integrated into the car’s underfloor for optimal aero performance.

At the other end is a splitter and enlarged air intakes, while in the middle is a pair of side skirts and vented front wheel arches. Speaking of which, the wheel arches are all blistered, housing a set of 19-inch wheels – an inch smaller than last time – shod in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres. Under these, you’ll find a beefed-up Brembo braking system with two-piece discs for improved pedal feel.

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Inside, there’s the same minimalistic cabin as the standard Civic, enhanced with various elements including suede-wrapped sports seats that sit the driver lower than in the last Civic Type R, a whole lot of red stitching, a suede-rimmed steering wheel and a Type R plaque on the dashboard.

From behind the wheel, drivers will be able to alter the characteristics of the engine, steering, adaptive dampers and engine sound via the following modes – Comfort, Sport, +R and Individual. There’s also an updated version of the Honda LogR data logger system which now gives information like tyre friction circles and can even score drivers on their track performance.

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The Civic Type R will be available in Championship White, Rallye Red, Racing Blue, Crystal Black and Sonic Grey Pearls when it arrives in Australia in early 2023.

Matt Robinson

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