Honda says the Civic Type R is ‘a race car for the road’. Rory Reid willingly investigates the claim (and risks embarrassment) in his video review.
It’s funny how things change. Those brought up on a diet of Fast & Furious car modifications would have once looked at the new Honda Civic Type R and thought it’s a thing of beauty. They might have even cried in awe.
But nowadays there’s a good chance this same group of motorists have matured. Well, a bit. This is why the VW Golf R is far more reserved than the most recent R32 Golf, which in turn was more reserved than the one before that and its lairy flared wheel arches.
Whether we care to admit it or not, manufacturers have realised we may not want to make such a bold statement with our car because, quite possibly, age makes us a bit boring. Hot hatches, then, are hotter in performance but decidedly luke warm in looks.
All manufacturers, that is, except Honda because the fifth-generation Civic is the design equivalent of a drug-enthused rave.
Much of its aesthetic is reminiscent of a devil, which is actually a hint as to what to expect. While the underlying car may be aging (the interior looks dated and is poor quality), the new 2.0-litre VTEC turbo is a a raging torrent of youtuful testosterone.
In fact, the only thing more ridiculous than a whopping great 310PS in a front-wheel drive car is the 167mph top speed. In fairness to Honda, the Type R handles the torque steer like a champion and the 0-62mph sprint of 5.7 seconds is undeniably entertaining.
Pace is clearly not a problem, but its biggest strength is cornering, which would explain why Honda reckons it could lap the legendary Nurburgring in under eight minutes, putting it in a very small group of extremely potent cars that includes the Honda NSX-R and a Ferrari California GT.
Rory goes as far to say he believes the new Type R (reviewed in wordier fashion here) could outrun the F-Type and this very writer has a feeling he might be right. It’s that bloody good in the bends.
Would you £30,000 on a car that you would be embarrassed to be seen in, though? Well, that depends on whether you value sheer exhilaration and ability above aesthetics.
Scroll on down for the video verdict and be sure to subscribe to the Recombu Cars YouTube channel for more.