The highly anticipated 2017 Honda Civic Type R has officially begun arriving at dealerships across the United States. With aerodynamically focused styling, red accents everywhere, and 2.0L turbocharged 4 cylinder pumping out 306 horsepower and 295 ft/lbs of torque the new Type R is certainly a sight to behold, but will it live up to the hype?
Set to directly compete with the Subaru WRX STI, Ford Focus RS, and the Volkswagen Golf R, the Type R certainly has something to prove if it’s going to be considered alongside its competition. So how does it compare?
The 0-60 time has been tested to be around 5.5-5.7 seconds (Honda hasn’t released any official time) the Type R is nearly a full second slower than the Focus RS and STI and about a half second slower than the Golf R. Not a great start.
In terms of power output it ranks third with only 10 more brake horsepower than the Golf R so it is not the most powerful car either. 300 horsepower is a nearly mundane offering these days in a sports car.
Next up is the styling. Now if you are a fan of racing and aerodynamics you’ll see that the masters in Honda’s engineering department went with function over form. Splitters line the bottom parts of the bumpers and side-skirts while massive vents can be found in the hood and behind the front fenders.
Out back you find a massive rear wing, a rear diffuser, and vortex generators along the top of the rear window. All these aerodynamic elements have caused some to characterize the styling of the car as too overstated and too “boy-racer”. All of these parts however have been designed and added for the specific purpose of directing the air around the car, creating downforce, and reducing lap times and it has done exactly that. The Type R reset the front wheel drive lap record at the famed Nurburgring in Germany with a time of 7:43.80.
The engineering marvels do not stop there though, for a four cylinder engine one may think it odd for the Type R to have three exhaust pipes, but that third pipe serves a very specific purpose.
At the rear axle, the exhaust splits into three separate pipes; the two outer pipes lead to large mufflers, and the center pipe goes right into a resonator. This design creates an effect where the exhaust is loud when you want it to be around town, yet quiet when cruising at highway speeds.
So it’s yet another marvel of engineering from the magicians at Honda, but is it any good? It’s easy to see that Honda tried to channel as much of what made the original Type R’s so great into the new version, but will it live up to the hype? Time will tell.