This is it ladies and gentlemen; the time has come to welcome the world’s fastest production front-wheel drive car. Honda Malaysia has officially unveiled the all-new fifth-generation Honda Civic Type R (FK8) at the Malaysia Autoshow 2017. Its priced at RM320,000 (excluding insurance) with bookings now open at any of the 20 authorized Honda Sport Dealers nationwide.
The All-new fifth-generation Honda hot hatch is the first truly ‘global’ Type R, and 2017 marks 25 years since the introduction of the very first Honda Type R vehicle. For more than two decades, the Type R badge has denoted the highest performance version of its respective model, derived from a philosophy of crafting racing-inspired road cars.
The Type R badge first appeared in 1992, with the debut of the first-generation NSX Type R (NA1) powered by a 3.0-litre V6 engine producing 276 hp, with extensive weight-saving measures extracted nearly 120kg over the standard car, including new lightweight composite Recaro seats in place of the electrically adjustable leather seats.
This was the first time that the red Honda emblem, red upholstery and Championship White body colour were introduced onto a Honda production car, which the colour combination serves a tribute to Honda’s Formula 1 heritage, reflecting the racing colours that appeared on the Honda RA271 and RA272 single-seater grand prix racers.
In 1995, Honda introduced the first-generation Integra Type R, officially available only to the Japanese market. Its 197 hp 1.8-litre four-cylinder VTEC engine redlined at 8,000 rpm, and introduced a much larger audience to the Type R experience. It was lighter than the standard Integra, while keeping its rigidity, and offered a short-ratio five-speed manual gearbox, as well as upgraded suspension and brakes.
The Japan-only 1997 Honda Civic Type R (EK9) that followed was fitted with 1.6-litre B16 engine – the first engine in a standard mass production car to offer a specific output exceeding 100 hp per litre. The Type R offered a stiffer chassis, front and rear double wishbone suspension, upgraded brakes and a helical limited-slip differential.
European and American buyers were officially offered a Type R for the first time in the shape of the 1998 Integra Type R (DC2). Powered by a 1.8-litre four-cylinder VTEC engine, this iconic coupe offered 187 hp at its 8,000 rpm redline. The weight-saving focus even included thinner windscreen glass for European versions.
The first five-door Type R was launched in 1999 (LA-LC7). The Accord Type R was equipped with a stiffer chassis and suspension, more powerful brakes and a limited-slip differential. It was also offered with a dual exhaust system and optional rear spoiler.
2001 saw the debut of the second-generation Integra Type R (DC5) for the Japanese market, and the launch of the second-generation Civic Type R (EP3). The latter represented the first time that a Type R model had been built at Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) in Swindon. The Japanese domestic market version, featuring a number of upgrades to the UK model, was also built at HUM.
In 2002, the second-generation NSX Type R (NA2) was introduced in Japan, representing a further evolution of the racing-inspired philosophy. Carbon fibre was used extensively to help reduce weight, including for the large rear spoiler and vented bonnet hood. The car remains the rarest of Honda’s Type R models.
The third-generation Civic Type R (FD2/FN2) was launched in March 2007, and was offered in two formats. Japanese buyers were offered a four-door sedan with a 222 hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder VTEC engine and independent rear suspension, while the European market Type R was based on the five-door hatchback, with a 2.0-litre VTEC unit producing 198 hp at 7,800 rpm.
The fourth-generation Civic Type R (FK2) was launched in 2015 with a host of technical firsts. At its heart was the first ever VTEC Turbo engine – the most extreme and high-performing Type R engine ever built – which delivered 305 hp at 6,500 rpm and 400 Nm torque from 2,500 rpm. Optimised performance handling resulted from a four-wheel adaptive damper system and a unique dual-axis strut front suspension set-up. An all-new +R mode was also introduced, giving drivers the option to engage a more intense driving experience – with increased engine response and steering feel, and revised damper settings – at the touch of a button. During its development, the fourth-generation Civic Type R set a new front-wheel drive production car benchmark at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Honda engineers did not rest on their laurels when developing the latest fifth-generation FK8. The all-new Honda Civic Type R has been engineered from the ground up in parallel with the new standard Civic hatchback, with mutual benefits to the dynamics and refinement of both variants, while retaining Honda’s heritage of high-performance hatchback bloodline, combining the purity of front-wheel-drive chassis dynamics with aggressive design and finely-honed aerodynamics. The new Civic Type R was engineered within the same development programme as the other members of the tenth generation Civic family – the largest global project for a single model in Honda’s history.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder dual overhead cam VTEC TURBO engine makes 315 hp at 6,500rpm, and 400Nm from 2,500rpm to 4,500rpm. The K20C1 features Honda’s VTEC (Variable Timing and Lift Electronic Control) and Dual-VTC (Dual-Variable Timing Control) technologies provide specific advantages to the engine’s mono-scroll turbocharger setup. VTEC varies the degree of exhaust valve lift to reduce turbo lag through increased exhaust pressure at lower rpm while delivering a high output at higher rpm. Dual-VTC allows a degree of overlap in valve opening, which is finely controlled across a broad rpm to improve responsiveness and fuel efficiency. The engine’s electric turbocharger wastegate enables a higher degree of freedom in boost control over a conventional turbo type.
Advanced thermal management technology addresses the challenges presented by a high compression ratio of 9.8:1 and turbocharging. A high-capacity air-to-air intercooler cools charge air, while the cylinder head has a two-piece water-cooled manifold to lower exhaust gas and combustion chamber temperatures. Each piston also features a cooling channel to provide increased oil flow, which dramatically increases knock resistance.
The K20C1 lump is mated to a new single-mass flywheel coupled with the six-speed manual gearbox reduces clutch inertia weight by 25%, and combines with a 7% lower final gear ratio to enhance response under acceleration. The gearbox’s rev-matching function smoother gearshifts, which eliminate undesirable transmission ‘shock’, associated with excessive or insufficient revving.
The ghost pepper Civic covers the 0-100km/h sprint in just 5.7 seconds and will go on to a top speed of 272km/h; meaning it is both the fastest-accelerating and quickest car in its class. It is also the fastest Type R ever around the Nürburgring Nordschleife with a lap time of 7min 43.8sec – 2 tenths more than Nissan’s record run in 2010 with the GT-R and beating the FK2 by 6.83 seconds!
Thanks to the new unibody platform of the tenth generation Civic hatchback, the new Type R is now 16kg lighter than the previous Civic Type R’s, with a torsional stiffness improvement of 37% and a static bending rigidity improvement of 45%. This provides significant benefits to steering response and cornering stability, as well as aiding the passive safety and NVH characteristics of the car. Thanks to the new unibody platform, the all-new Civic Type R weighs at a featherweight 1380kg curb.
Type R also benefits from the Civic hatchback’s innovative body assembly process, which involves a high-efficiency joining technique. The entire inner frame is assembled first, followed by the outer frame, and then the joints. This new ‘inside out’ process defies the conventional method of body frame assembly, but contributes greatly to the overall stiffness of the body.
The Civic Type R’s fuel tank has been relocated and the car’s floor is lower than that of the outgoing model. This results in the all-new model’s centre of gravity lower by 10mm. These changes also allow the driving position to be lower and nearer to the road with a hip point 25mm lower than its predecessor.
At the front, lower-arm-type front MacPherson strut suspension provides high lateral rigidity for linear handling, and low longitudinal rigidity for optimised ride compliance. The Civic Type R makes use of a unique dual-axis setup, with revised geometry that incorporates a reduction in centre offset of 19mm and reduction of initial camber by 1.0 degree compared to the standard Civic’s setup. This Type R-specific setup minimises torque steer and maximises sporty handling. Furthermore, the struts’ lower arms and knuckles are now made out of high-rigidity aluminium.
At the rear of the car, an all-new rear multi-link setup and unique suspension arms deliver increased geometrical stability for improved high-speed stability and enhanced ride comfort compared to its predecessor, as well as more linear handling in conjunction with the electric power steering tuning.
The multi-link suspension contributes to improved stability under braking and reducing the total roll movement of the car. Combined with the lower centre of gravity and wider wheel track, this enables later braking and higher cornering speeds. Upper, lower and trailing arms are all high-rigidity parts unique to the Type R. Relocation of elements, including the fuel tank, throughout the length of the car has also delivered improved weight distribution across the axles and achieves a 3% reduction in the proportion of weight over the front axle as compared to the previous Type R.
The 2017 Type R has a new selection of driving modes, adding a ‘Comfort’ setting to the default ‘Sport’ and track-focused ‘+R’ modes – all of which tailor the suspension compliance, steering geometry and throttle response of the car on demand. Compared to the previous Type R, the more significant difference between the damping forces of each driving mode gives the new car greater usability across a wider range of road surfaces. Notably, Comfort mode affords a high degree of compliance, coupled with a less urgent level of steering response.
At the front, four-piston Brembo callipers apply braking force to ventilated 350 mm discs. The front bumper’s intakes house unique cooling ducts that channel air through the body to reduce the heat of the discs and calipers. At the rear, solid 305mm discs are 9mm larger than those found on the previous Type R.
The aggressive design makes a confident statement about the Civic Type R’s dynamic character. It is much wider, longer, and lower than any of its predecessors, the all-new Civic has short overhangs and muscular, taut lines. It also comes with functional aerodynamic elements includes a smooth underbody, front air curtain, a slim rear wing and vortex generators at the trailing edge of the roofline. These features contribute to a best-in-class balance between lift and drag, delivering superior levels of high-speed stability.
The all-new interior has seen significant improvements in quality, comfort and refinement. The front and rear seat occupants benefit from greater visibility and more space, while the large boot and innovative side-sliding tonneau cover ensure the car retains its position as the most practical and versatile of high-performance hatchbacks. Like its predecessors, the all-new fifth-generation Honda Civic Type R lives up to its legendary reputation as pure drivers’ car that provides seasoned performance drivers without sacrificing day-to-day practicality.
The warranty for the All-New Civic Type R is 5 years with unlimited mileage at 10,000km service intervals at any of the 20 authorized Honda Sport Dealer nationwide offered in the exclusive Championship White hue. Response for the all-new Type R has been positive which Honda Malaysia has received 60 bookings for the All-New Civic Type R, which surpassed initial target of 30 units per month.
Customers can visit any of Honda’s 20 Sport Dealers to view and place a booking for the All-New Civic Type R. Sport Dealers are Honda’s appointed authorised dealers that carry the All-New Civic Type R in Malaysia. Customers can also view the All-New Civic Type R at Malaysia Autoshow 2017 in Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) and stand a chance for a Taxi Ride.