2020 Honda Civic Type R.
2020 Honda Civic Type R.
2020 Honda Civic Type R.
2020 Honda Civic Type R.
For comparison sake, this is the current (2017-spec) Honda Civic Type R.
For comparison sake, this is the current (2017-spec) Honda Civic Type R.

TOKYO - While the performance hatch glory at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon clearly belonged to Toyota’s insane new GR Yaris, Honda was also out to hog some of the spotlight with its updated Civic Type R.

Following in the footsteps of the facelifted Civic range, the Type R has been given a subtle facelift for 2020, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t spot the differences. While retaining a decidedly familiar appearance, the new hatch does get a redesigned grille, which has a more block-like appearance, as well as redesigned lower side bumper elements, which do away with the honeycomb pattern.

Honda is treating this debut as more of a teaser than an outright reveal, so there’s still no official word on what technological changes have been made to the car, but according to Paultan.org, Honda director Kimiyoshi Teratani revealed at the Tokyo show that the car’s cooling system has been improved, although there is no word on whether the outputs have increased.

For the record, the current Type R’s 2-litre turbopetrol engine produces 228kW at 6500rpm and 400Nm between 2500 and 4500rpm, for a claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.8 seconds. Power goes to the front wheels only through a six-speed manual gearbox with rev-matching technology.

On the chassis front, the Type R has a multilink back axle and a clever dual-axis arrangement with a variable ratio steering rack at the front, which all help to make it one of the best handling front-wheel drive hatchbacks that we’ve ever driven.

But there’s also proof in the Nurburgring pudding, with the Type R having broken the front-wheel-drive record in 2017 with its lap time of 7m43.8s, although it was dethroned by Renault’s Megane RS Trophy-R last year, which achieved 7m40.1s.

Honda hasn’t shown us inside the new Type R as yet, but if the regular Civic’s recent update is anything to go by then you can expect an updated infotainment system with more buttons and a much-needed volume knob.

IOL Motoring