Geneva Motor Show – Honda’s new Type R takes the key ingredients of its already ferocious predecessor and blends them into the latest generation Civic hatchback recipe, with a dash of extra power, enhanced rigidity and aerodynamics, improved suspension and a new driving mode thrown in for good measure.

The familiar 2-litre VTec turbopetrol motor remains, but it’s been tinkered with to produce 235kW, up from 228kW, while peak torque remains at 400Nm. Honda also claims to have improved throttle response and overall driveability through “optimised” engine control settings. All that power is still channelled through the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, which now has a rev-match control system.

On the chassis front the old car’s torsion beam rear axle makes way for a more sophisticated multi-link set-up, while the Macpherson system up front receives new geometry to minimise the inevitable torque steer that occurs when pushing this much power through the front wheels. The latest Civic’s body shell also improves torsional rigidity by 38 percent, while aerodynamic enhancements are said to give the Type R a class-leading balance between lift and drag.

Addressing the common complaint that the Type R is not a very comfortable car, Honda’s engineers have added a ‘Comfort’ setting to the driving modes, which varies the adaptive dampers, throttle response, steering and gearshift feel. As before, drivers also get to play with ‘Sport’ and track-focused ‘+R’ modes.

The new hyper-hatch will be built in the UK, with production commencing around mid-year. At this stage, Honda SA says it has no "confirmed" plans for the new Type R.

IOL Motoring

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