As Honda celebrates 25 years of Type R, we thought it would be nice to drop some focus on the lesser-known models of the Type R heritage. The car-in-point, this UK-sourced Civic Type R which will be celebrating it’s 10th birthday soon.
A decade has changed the hatchback game by a mile, even the latest Honda Civic Type R comes with a turbo plant. However, there is nothing to scoff at a car with a 2.0 litre engine in a sub 1.5 ton chassis. Renowned for the silky smooth, high-revving performance, the K20 isn’t going to disappear just yet – a trend evident in the number of Type R’s having their COEs renewed.
Even the best tuned turbo engine won’t hold a candle to what a naturally aspirated block can do, which is to keep things simple and deliver superb throttle response. One may argue that newer turbos have solved the lag issues, but the increase in complexity doesn’t mean turbos can go away scott-free.
The hot hatchback game has always been changing. 10 years ago, it was not uncommon for a hot hatch to look like a standard hatchback with some sporty kit tacked on. This Civic was different. It was designed to be sporty and futuristic at the same time. Despite the three door style, it is still spacious and fits three adults in the rear.
The interior was not neglected either. The FN2’s dashboard set the stage for the next generation of Type R interior designs, which includes the double stack gauge display which stuck around until the FK2 Type R.
It would be an insult to ask any Civic Type R owner about his track day schedule, the most polite way is to ask: “When is the next one?” The only way to appreciate a Type R is to make it scream while you have a grin on your face. The standard Type R can be further improved with a couple of tweaks. Here, we find upgraded front brakes, plus a lower and stiffer suspension setup thanks to D2 racing components.
The owner’s most favourite mod of all? The WedsSport wheels, which turned out to be of an unexpected problem solver. For a long time, he was very unhappy with the suspension settings as the high damping setting caused his car to be unsettled, but a lighter setting would cause some vague handling. Once the wheels went on, he discovered that he could run the D2 coilovers with a less aggressive damper setting while maintaining the precise feel of the steering.
The appeal of naturally aspirated motors won’t be forgotten, as evident as he zoomed past at the recent API Racing track day. For him, extracting performance out of the engine was not a priority. Truth be told, its aggressive silhouette alone will be sufficient to turn heads, for the privileged who managed to catch a glimpse of his car up close.
Have a peep inside the cabin too, the necessary track elements: bucket seats, temperature and pressure gauges and a shift lamp. We have a niggling suspicion that he will be extending the lifespan of his car once the time comes, judging by his stories of the encounters during his Type R ownership… Please do!
Honda Civic Type R
Remus exhuast system
D2 Front Big Brake Kit
Utra Racing Front & Rear Strut Bars
Bride Bucket seats
Prosport Gauge x3 and Shift lamp.
Custom race livery