Enhanced Honda Civic Type R arriving next month, with the Limited Edition scheduled for mid-2021.
The updated Honda Civic Type R will be available from October 1. Honda has also confirmed that the new, lighter Civic Type R Limited Edition will have a production limit of 100 units globally. Expressions of interest for the model were opened in Australia earlier this year with hundreds putting their name down. EOI has now closed on the model.
Honda has updated the standard Civic Type R for 2020 with a range of cosmetic and mechanical upgrades. Exterior styling revisions are conservative, stretching to a new Type R-exclusive Boost Blue paint finish, a pair of more neatly integrated fog lamps and a larger radiator grille, which Honda says offers better engine cooling. Inside, buyers get a new Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel and a teardrop-shaped gear knob fitted with a new short-throw shifter.
The chassis revisions are more significant. The 2020 Civic Type R comes with updated dampers, stiffer bushings for the rear subframe, tweaked front suspension geometry and fresh two-piece brake discs with new brake pads, both of which have been designed to reduce brake fade and improve braking performance.
The engine’s stats are unchanged from the previous model. That means 235kW and 400Nm from a 2.0-litre turbocharged unit, which sends its power to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. However, this time around, Honda has equipped the Civic Type R with a sound augmentation system that pipes engine noise into the cabin through the speakers.
Finally on the technology front, Honda has introduced a new data-logging smartphone app. Called LogR, the app lets owners log performance functions like G-force, speed, and oil and water temperatures, as well as recording lap times and giving data for acceleration and braking.
Honda has also answered criticisms from some circles that the Civic Type R’s styling might be a little overbearing for some with the introduction of a new Sport Line model in some markets. The most significant change is at the back, where the huge rear wing is swapped for a subtle spoiler. The red strip around the lower edge of the bumpers and side sills is now finished in dark grey, which is matched by the 19-inch alloy wheels. Inside, the usual red seats are swapped for black items with contrasting red stitching.
Not only does the Sport Line car look more subtle, but it is also set to be more refined. Honda has added extra soundproofing under the boot and in the tailgate, while the carpet is thicker than in other versions. The Sport Line’s wheels are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres and their thicker, softer sidewalls should result in a slightly more forgiving ride.
The now sold-out Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition is the fastest version of the Japanese brand’s flagship performance hatchback. Like the Renault Megane Trophy R, it achieves its performance gains not by adding power, but by saving weight.
It loses standard car’s air-conditioning and infotainment systems, plus some sound deadening from the roof lining, rear hatch, front bumper and dashboard. Combined with new forged 20-inch BBS wheels, (which save 2.5kg per corner), the Limited Edition’s diet results in a 47kg weight loss compared with the Typre R GT.
The Civic’s adaptive dampers and electric power steering system have also been recalibrated to take advantage of the Limited Edition’s reduced unsprung mass and grippy Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tyres. The upgrades haven’t affected the Type R’s 0–100km/h, however, with Honda claiming the same time of 5.7 seconds.
Cosmetically, the Limited Edition is most obviously set apart from other Civics by the bright Sunlight Yellow paint finish – a nod to the likes of the first Civic and Integra Type R models. The look is completed by a black roof, door mirrors and central bonnet vent. Each model comes with a numbered plaque behind the gear shifter to mark its place in the build series.