The eagerly awaited new Civic Type R sold out within a month of its UK arrival in June 2015. Honda dealers took 800 orders ? leaving anyone who missed out having to wait until next February to collect.
Interest in the car has, according to Honda UK boss Philip Crossman, ?been phenomenal.? This is perhaps no surprise. The Type R is the world?s most powerful front-wheel drive hot hatch, covering 0-62mph in just 5.7sec and going on to a top speed of 167mph.
The Honda, unusually, is only offered with a six-speed manual transmission: there?s no automatic. Power is transferred to the road via a ?number of innovative new suspension systems? developed at the N?rburging and Suzuka circuits. Along with adaptive dampers, the Type R is equipped with a Dual Axis Strut front suspension reminiscent of the well-regarded RevoKnuckle setup from Ford. With this, an additional steering knuckle ensures that the wheel rotates around a point closer to the centre line. Honda claims that this reduces torque steer by up to half, compared with a standard Civic.
To the rear, the torsion beam configuration has been adapted to optimise stability in rapid corners and boost roll rigidity by 180%. The electric steering has been modified to improve feedback. 19in wheels with custom-made compound tyres feature big drilled discs (front: 350mm) and four-piston calipers.
Extensive development work in the company?s motorsport wind tunnel in Japan has produced an advanced aerodynamics package. At the rear, a large fixed wing generates the required downforce without too much drag at high speeds, while a diffuser partners with a flat floor panel to ?suck? the car to the road. A front splitter, and even the bumpers, are also fashioned to make the most of the aerodynamic and the cooling possibilities.
Drivers looking to push the performance boundaries can make use of the ?+R? driving mode. This limits steering assistance, firms up the dampers by 30%, plots a considerably more dynamic torque map and sharpens engine response.
In the cabin, there is a machined aluminium gearknob as well as sports seats clad in suede-effect fabric.
"The Type R has dominated our thinking for the past few months,? said Crossman. ?It's already playing a key role in building interest in our brand and telling the world that Honda is back where it belongs."
Prices start at ?29,995 for the entry level Type R and rise to ?32,995 for GT versions. These offer automatic lights and wipers, dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors and the Connect infotainment package.