We begin 2018 by revisiting our all-time favourites. Yes, it may be “ancient” when compared to newer, more fuel-efficient, turbo cars, but the Type-R shall live on to be a car that will be cherished by many around the world.
The internet may squabble about how everything pales in comparison to the other Japanese rivals, but those who have taken the wheel of this beast around the roads will never deny that the FD2R brings the purity of driving back to the driver.
A performance dream car for many, is a true supercar, or even a hypercar. But for down-to-earth usability and affordability, there is nothing better than having an easily attainable car which one can use for more than race-tracking. Night outs with the guys to “lim kopi”? No problem. Weekend grocery run? Licked. Cross border car wash? No problem either. This is why many Civic Type R owners refuse to let go of this Japanese classic until it becomes painfully unbearable.
With us being so dangerously close to becoming a Type R magazine, we still were utterly amazed when we saw this car glide effortlessly past us one night. So many things looked so good from afar – the shriek of the K, the bassy bye bye note, and how poised this looked as it pulled through a corner and disappeared into the horizon.
You might be thinking that plenty had been upgraded to keep this fast boy snappy in the corners? You’re absolutely correct. Nevermind that the original Type R handles like a dream, this handles like rails. The entire suspension dampers were swapped for HKS Hipermaxes, which were set to the medium stiff setting, and lowered till the humps started scratching the body work.
With that much stiffer setup, a Spoon fender brace was added to prevent further flexing of the front side members and spring houses, while a roll centre adjuster and rear camber kit were added to retune the suspension settings closer to factory.
Part of this car’s handling upgrades include a wider track, which improves its cornering tenacity with the a staggered setup (ala S2000 style). A bit of the trade off is the increase in bump steer, but the owner has a smaller steering wheel to compensate for the excessive feedback at high speeds. The need to stop really fast came with the overengineered brake setup for the front wheels.
Go faster – there is nothing wrong with taking apart Honda’s best design and adding on even more improvements to the breathing system. New forged parts keep the already bomb-proof engine even stronger than before, and sustain much more abuse on the track. Speaking of track duties, the gearbox’s syncros have been swapped with gears 4-6 taken from an Integra DC5R to improve top end performance – something which the long stretches of Sepang gladly welcome.
Civics usually conjures up impressions of flamboyant exteriors, exterior modifications were kept to a “minimum” – that is, to keep the car’s weight to a minimum. Lighter carbon fibre hood, fenders… we’ll let the photos do the talking. There is no mistaking that a lot of the weight has been removed from the front, which aids in making it turn more responsively. One simply has to respect an owner who has gone as far as replacing the door handles with carbon fibre…
The interior receives a good going over to make it more track-friendly. Huggy seats, nice steering wheel, trick short hub adapter and ‘shweet’ short shifter. To keep an eye on all the vital signs, the Defi cluster of gauges for temperatures and pressures – we’re just missing a blood pressure gauge.
And no track aficionado will forgo the most important upgrade: The snug fit of a great bucket seat. Sure, comfort is thrown out of the window, but drivers swear by the additional feel that a bucket seat delivers, which is crucial when you’re really pushing the car hard. The roads will communicate much more clearly with a rigid seat in place – and it weighs less too!
Among his friends who are die-hard Civic Type-R owners as well, we do respect this breed of owners who prefer raw driving monsters and they’re ready to keep their rides going for another ten years – a true testament to dedication.
Honda Civic Type-R
Morosso oil catch tank
Spoon header with cert
Toda exhaust with cert
Fully built forged engine
Dc5R 456 gearing
Synchro 1-6 all changed
Advan RS 17-inch wheels – staggered
Alcon Monobloc 6 pot
Hks hipermax 4 suspension
Cusco anti roll bar front
Cusco anti roll bar rear
Spoon fender brace
Buddy club roll centre adjuster
Spc rear camber kit
Final Konnexion steering wheel
NRG Steering Adapter
Buddy Club Short Shifter
Defi(red) oil/oil press/water temp/exhaust temp
Carbon dash panel (driver side)
Carbon dash (passengers side)
Carbon door handles
Carbon J’s bonnet
Carbon J’s fender
Carbon original J’s rear diffuser
Carbon fibre side skirt lip
Carbon plate (under bonnet )
Carbon side skirt
Carbon side skirt lip
Carbon door handles
Carbon craft square mirrors
Carbon feels side air duct
Carbon window visor
Carbon feels side duct
Carbon fibre feels grill
Carbon J’s wing
Carbon Varis wing
Original Bumper with original beam light