In many ways, the world’s fastest FWD production car has a lot of shout about. It is the most advanced and fastest car Honda has ever made. It has a cult following since the very first Civic Type R which is the EK9. And it also spawned an entire market of performance upgrades, racing series as well as worried law enforcement officers.
What once had to be whispered within the automotive circle, Honda’s two litre VTEC engine is arguably the heart and soul of the new Civic Type R. While we will always cherish the last great NA CTR for the sheer involvement – there is another important fact. The Civic Type R is the most exciting new Japanese sports car currently. There is no new Evo, and the new WRX is barely exciting. NSX? Maybe. No one will actually know.
Being the most advanced Honda, this Civic Type R is also designed to be sensible on the road – until it met a very hardcore owner who only wants the R+ button switched on perpetually.
A set of US-sourced Fortune Auto hand-built coilovers found their way into the Type R, which feature Concave Flow Digressive technology pistons which can accomodate a 8kg spring rate range. The choice of coilovers was to make the most of the wide artificial spring rate adjustment range – which translates to a stiffer ride on the track while maintaining some comfort and dignity for regular road use.
The book of tuning cars always says bigger tyres are better, not in this case. The stock 20-inch wheels made way for smaller, Volk Racing TE37 Saga in 18-inch and for good reason too. 20-inch wheels and tires are awful for daily driving.
The problem is finding the crazy high offset of +60 offset to keep torque steer to a minimum and not smash into the brembo brake calipers. With the slight concave face and X-Factor brake clearance allowances, the TE37 Saga was one of the lightest options that could slot cleanly into the Type R.
Reason two: 20 inch high performance tyres are still rare and crazy expensive. Go ahead and google for 245/30R20 tyres, you’ll be surprised at what other cars use the same size (hint: R8 and Huracan). So it’s logically and financially better off getting smaller, but wider tyres for the super sticky performance. Here, we have Bridgestone’s track-proven RE71-R 265/35R18 tyres.
Any track enthusiast will never skimp on the brakes, even with original Brembos. The Girodisc system is a direct replacement for the OE disc and are lighter to reduce rotational and unsprung weight. Project Mu “super graphite metallic” pads for extremely high fade resistance and brake bite, with HEL stainless steel reinforced braided hose add up to unquestionable brake performance at any time.
The second Civic Type R to get a turbo powerplant, and it’s still pretty much in the experimental stage, since the K20C1 was born barely 3 years ago. With basic modifications such as the PRL intercooler and a HKS charge pipe, the Type R responded to the removal of intake restrictions with plenty of responsiveness, whoosh and turbo howls.
There is still more to gain if one chooses to crack open the K20C1 and replace the internals, but considering how much one can do with 300-ish horses, the long, arduous process of tuning and re-tuning is not at the top of the to-do list (yet).
One can still improve on the factory with some bolt on modifications to improve the performance. Granted, it makes a small difference, but for the world’s fastest FWD car doing a mind-blowing Sepang lap, why be fast – when you can be faster?
Honda Civic Type R
HKS charge pipe
Dei Thermal Titanium Exhaust Wrap
Invidia R400 downpipe and exhaust (track use)
Cusco front strut bar
Volk Racing TE37 Saga 18”
Bridgestone RE71-R 18/265/35
Project Mu brake pads
HEL steel braided hose
Fortune Auto 510 racing coilovers
Defi ZD digital gauge
Aeroflow dynamics canards