Just do a simple Google search for “hot-hatch” and you’ll likely see countless stories about the VW GTI. Why is that? Well it’s been the benchmark of the segment since it arrived in the US in 1983. Today there’s a few more options, like the new Veloster N, but one model is ready to take the crown, the Honda Civic Type R.
Many buyers may not know what “Type R” means, since it’s been almost a decade since Honda sold the only other Type R, in the US, the Acura Integra Type R. Well as its name suggests, the Type R is all about the racetrack. With its 306-hp turbocharged engine, nearly perfect chassis and in your face styling, the Civic Type R is ready to battle other hot-hatches, like the GTI, Golf R, and Veloster N.
Starting with the already good Civic hatchback, the Civic Type R dials up the performance to a 10 with its 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft.of torque. The four-cylinder is mated to an excellent six-speed manual transmission that sends its power to the front wheels. You might think that much power going to the front wheels would come with a lot of torque steer, but Honda’s engineers managed to get rid of that thanks to its dual-axis struts. A mechanical limited-slip front differential has also been added to keep the front wheels from spinning. The Civic Type R also gets a unique rear suspension and three-way adjustable solenoid-valve adaptive dampers have been added.