The New Civic Type R: Too Much? Or Just Right?

For those of us in the United States, the Honda Civic Type R has always had a certain mystique to it.

It’s not unlike the aura that surrounds the Nissan Skyline, another piece of forbidden automotive fruit that’s long been sought after by car enthusiasts here.

2017 Civic Type R

Despite the fact that the Civic helped launch the tuner movement and sport compact market back in the ’90s, America was never given the hottest version of the car. In fact, the only Type R we ever got here in the US was the DC2 Acura Integra variant for a short time in the late ’90s and early 2000s.

2017 Civic Type R

Needless to say, the introduction of the latest Civic Type R, as unveiled in production form at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Showand the confirmation that it will be the first Civic Type R sold in America have us pretty excited stateside. Yet hearing my friends and colleagues talk about the new CTR, opinions have been split to say the least.

2017 Civic Type R

With no precedent before it, I’m very interested to see how the Type R will be accepted when it arrives in the US (and the rest of the world) later this year. Some seem to love it, but I’ve also heard plenty of criticisms, among which is that it should have been all-wheel drive, that it looks too ‘boy racer’, and that it will be too expensive for what it is.

2017 Civic Type R (European Version)

All of those criticisms are perfectly valid and rational. Yes, 300hp+ is a lot to send to just the front wheels. Yes, the car’s over-the-top styling won’t be flying under anyone’s radar. Yes, $35,000+ is a big chunk of money for a Honda Civic.

But my feeling is that the Civic Type R isn’t supposed to be a rational car, and that’s why I’m so excited about it. The only question is, have the people who grew up idolizing Type Rs from the ’90s moved on, or will they embrace the overdue CTR with open arms?

2017 Civic Type R (European Version)

We’ll have to reserve final judgement until we’ve driven it, but in a world where cars are becoming more clinical by the moment, I’m down with the fact that Honda decided to build something that’s a little off the wall. The new CTR is shaping up to be loud, fun and unmistakable for anything else on the road or the race track, and I want more cars like that – regardless of how much they cost or what badge is attached to them.

But hey, mine is just one American guy’s opinion. Now that we’ve finally been able to soak up the full details and specs on Honda’s latest specialty performance machine, are you ready to embrace the wildness of the new Civic Type R?

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia
mike@speedhunters.com

The 2017 Geneva International Motor Show on Speedhunters

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90 comments

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1

I have driven it. Its amazing in a way you can't describe without being in it. Its just one of those special cars. People may be unsure about it prior to arrival, but I think anyone who drives it will find it to be pretty awesome.

2

Hows the driving experience compare to say the Toyobaru twins? I'm kind of holding out on buying my next car, the Toyobaru twins is potentially my next car in line. I'm currently driving a 2014 Scion tC which has practicality but not enough fun imo

3

I kind of hate you because you already got to try it out, but I will be driving mine plenty once it is delivered.

Author4

Nice to hear!

5

It probably drives amazingly but there's so many fake vents it just looks ugly to me.

Author6

I get your point, but then again you don't see the vents from behind the wheel haha

7

But seeing them on the showroom floor kinda causes me to not want to know whats seen when behind the wheel.

8

Fun. That's what's seen from behind the wheel. Endless fun plus Initial D Eurobeat music.

9
Alejandro Da Costa

Eurobeat should fit just right in that car. I´m not much of a Honda guy BUT it should be a really good FWD experience.

10
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I need to drive this. Looks wise it doesn't do much for me, I'd rather see Honda go back to a more simple design language

11

Exactly. Follow Porsche gt3 build logic.

12

Totally off topic - Dino! Super Street was way better a couple years ago when it was still the old crew! Been too bland for too long! Just wanted to say what up!

13

Exactly Type-r's used to be simplier in their design and they looked good.

14

And seriously 20inch?!?!?!?!? Who needs that and it will cost an arm and a leg to change a tire!

15

with all the models, for real.

16

My two cents on that car is that it's looks way to obnoxious. The fake vents and intakes at the front, the wing and the triple exhaust are a bit two much for my taste. The Golf R or the Focus RS are a bit more subtle in there Styling.

Author17

Cool that there's a choice. From the super understated Golf R to the wild CTR.

18

This! I was just thinking this. Plus awd.

19

In terms of design, this car is the biggest joke of the modern era. It looks like an SUV that was designed by a 7 year-old. It's probably a real hoot to drive, but I'm finding that I don't care, because it's absolutely hideous and I'd never consider buying one.

20

What is with Asian car design lately? Seems like they are all trying to make the most outlandishly ugly designs, this may be the worst. It could be the best driving vehicle made, I would never buy it.

21

Lol, like the new toyota prius?

22

Why is it that technologically advanced cars (when it comes to hybrids and electrics) are mainly ugly, IMO the tesla looks great with it being reasonably subtle, the prius and bmw i series cars jesus christ. I'd have been happy if they followed VW's route, made the same car but just with electric gubbins in it (see the GTI compared to the GTE) Maybe thats one of the other things holding people back from going the hybrid route, the cars are damned ugly.

23

Apart from the fact it looks hideous...

I really wish they didn't turbo. Ideally it would be a NA, but if it really needed to have forced induction, at least go supercharger instead.

24

AWD would be great, and make it more comparable/competitive against the bunch of AWD hot hatches available today. $35k doesn't sound tooo pricey. But! My complaint mirrors those who think it's boy-racer looks aren't good. It looks like a parts company's demo car at an event; just a car with every bolt-on in the catalog strapped to it so customers know what to expect from the lineup. The hatchback/boy-racer comparisons also just remind me of that awful looking, hatch-only impreza from a few years back.

I'll never drive one though, so whatever lol. I bet it's a blast to drive.

Author25

I'm kinda thinking that most people that want to buy a 35K Civic want something that's over the top. I'm thinking the upcoming Si might have a similar feel but with less power and a little more restrained look.

26

This is a successful car in Europe, and many of the same things were said about the last generation, it proved to be one of the best CTRs ever made. People enjoyed them and i think that is what will happen with this one too as many people love the looks and aren't that vocal about it. I personally think this is exactly what Honda needed to stay relevant in the increasingly aggressive hot hatch segment and this is what people have said to have wanted for years anyways in North America. The only thing I have to say about this car is that i i hope they continue doing what they have done with this and do another S2000 type car. This segment of performance cars is what Honda needed to enter and they did with a bang. I'm excited to see whats next.

Author27

An S2000ish car would be so great. Please do it, Honda.

28

We might be in luck. I've heard rumors that Honda might be working on a new S2000 for release in 2018 to mark the company's 70 anniversary.

29

20" wheels, fake grills front and rear that are crazy big and that ugly RPM gauge are what people should get fired for at Honda. Ruined a dream car for many of us..... if they would ve just brought the one before this disaster I would ve paid 35k. I am so sad.... what a screw up. I am sooo sad.... worse than Alonso..

30

UGLY. end of conversation. Give us back the EF, EG, EK hatch!

31

The EF, EG and EK's are still out there. But old now. And it's just a car. It gets old. Open up a little and embrace new!

32

it is strikingly similar to the ek hatch... i have one and other than the big wing on the back, it has the shape of it. its a much bigger car tho. this is definatly going to be my first car loan this summer when it comes back.. and it will be sitting next to my ek in the driveway.

33

As I've said in other posts it's too out there for me that and I cant get past seeing a Velostar Turbo when I look at it. I'm sure it will drive great but I prefer things that are there for a functional purpose not just for aesthetics (see massive grilles)

34

Aesthetically it makes me want to sick up my lunch.

35

Likewise, Ben. I reallyliked the last coupl of CTRs, as wild as the last one in particular was, but this is a whole other level.

36

Like the look, they were looking pretty bland for awhile, no awd might be the deal breaker for most. Me personally I won't even buy fwd, it's gotta be rwd or awd. But that's just me.

Author37

Apparently you are in the minority when it comes to the styling.

38

True, but I'm all for anything different than the norm. If companies don't try anything different, then we get a bunch of cars that look like the prius.

39

From the side it looks just ok (because it looks exactly like an sti hatch) Everything else looks like it was designed on NFS...

40
Matthew Everingham

I'll give Honda points for making a car that appeals to the next generation of young drivers.
Clearly they've borrowed a lot of design elements for a 'space car'. The original blueprint was found in the bedroom of one of their 6 or 7 year old children.

41

I think quite a few of us drew our own crazy, over-the-top dream cars on paper when we were little kids (including myself.) Amirite?

42

Personally, I think it looks pretty wild (in a good way.) Just wish those vents on the bumpers were functional...

43

When did the civic get so big. Having seen an ep3 next to the current gen civic the ep3 looks tiny. did the just dump the accord and chuck a civic badge on it. On saying that I quite like the interior and the motor will be a beast of a thing, the exterior is a little busy for my liking

44

couldnt agree more..this thing looks like new gen accord..the first gen type R is the most proper

45

How much did the Integra Type-R cost when it was new? Look at the size of the Civic now (including what equipment it comes with).

46

I suppose you would all be more comfortable with a pick up truck that you never use for work, you beige pieces of shit!

47
Jay Soh Tsu Chung

My only complain about this new model is that those 20" wheels seems like overkill. 18" would have been just sufficient.

48

Jay, I was wondering about the wheels, too. Maybe I'm wrong, but it looks like 19s would still clear the brakes. Not sure how smaller wheels would look against a big body, though. As it sits, with tires of that profile, the ride looks like it's going to be jarring.

Author49

I'm guessing a lot of owners will be switching over to whatever the smallest diameter that will still clear the brakes - with ultra sticky rubber of course.

50

Funnily enough that's what I thought when I saw the Toyota Yaris GRMN on the Geneva page on here. 17s look too small on the body - how big must a yaris be now for 17s to look awkward?

51

theres to much going on at the rear...simplify the bumper please

52

Car prolly drives suuuuuper nice, (the new "normal" civic is very smooth), but i can bet that the engines are going to be absolute gems and that in a decade people will be swapping this into their projects.
Its just nice to see a "fun" oriented car coming out of Japan instead of a wave of crossovers thats dominating the streets now. Hopefully this thing sells well and companies take note. This could be a very important car.

53
John Krzeminski

Styling looks way too Subaru inspired, but with a bunch of fake vents added by a 12 year old with a Deviant Art art degree. Rear end looks like something taken off of a crossover vehicle with a wing slapped on it. Do I even want to know how much it weighs?

54

It's kind of funny how a few years back we were saying the STi looks like an Evo and here we are today saying the TypeR looks like a STi...

It's supposed to weigh in the ball park of 2800lbs

55

I think it will be a beast....but if it was AWD tho...

56

On my opinion, people don't have to look it in a way that its a super car like Ferrari or Lamborghini. It a sports sedan with a really good power output, styling and in that level its pretty good for it. And salute to Honda for believing on car culture, unlike other brands that just focused on what common people wants and never think outside the box and just follow the trends. Salute to Honda.

57

I like it, admittedly its very over the top but thats what it should be, i think if it was in black it would give a more subtle look to it.

58
Randomguyontheinternet

I recently saw a heavily modified 10th gen civic coupe, and was surprised how much I liked the look of it. The exterior had been mostly left alone in terms of cosmetics (it was white with blacked-out trim and was lowered on some not-too-flashy wheels). Honestly I really preferred it the Type-R. If the new si looks similar to the base coupes, I think you could just turn up the boost and get Type-R power with a little less of the boy-racer look.

59
EverydayTrackday

This type of batshit awesomeness is what drives innovation. More off the wall solutions for the quest for speed should get through the concept phase and into production. I just hope other "boring" automakers follow. Ahem Toyota cough cough Nissan.

60

Nissan? You think the Type R is better than the 370z and the GTR? I find your choice of comparison very curious.

61
EverydayTrackday

All different layouts, definitely appreciate them all. Nissan still has it together (IDX fingers crossed), misspoke and should have said Mitsubishi with 2015 being the last production year to date for the EVO.

62

At the end of the day it's still a 3000 pound car with 300+ hp. AWD would have added another 3-400 unecessary pounds. The interior looks incredibly high quality for the price point and this thing will look absolutely crazy in person on public roads.. love it or hate it, you have to applaud Honda for putting this car into production. Very excited to drive it!

Author63

That's basically how I feel.

64
ScrotaniumAlloy

I find this car violently ugly. I'm sure people will say how awesome it is to drive, but the price puts it over a Mustang GT, which I know to be fun to drive.
I don't want this car, and have a hard time trusting that the driving experience is that much better than any other high-powered FWD car. Maybe I can't see the aweful vents from the drivers seat, but I can certainly feel torque-steer and understeer.

65

Have you drove the Type R? Why make a statement if you have not drove it and experienced it yet. I highly doubt you have been behind the wheel of any performance car...muscle car and performance cars are different. Night and day...

66
ScrotaniumAlloy

Have you? How many race series use FWD cars as a rule? None. Why? Because FWD has major limitations.
This is a family car tarted up with some lacy underwear. That's all

67

"How many race series use FWD cars as a rule? None. "

Just sayin'...

http://www.montpeliermotorspeedway.com/fwd-compact-rules/

68
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69

So many complaints. Im not a fan of the fake vents and things like that but the car itself looks good. I would have liked an awd option but i also understand why its not. And as for the switch from NA to turbo thats just sort of the way things are going, you can maintain decent mileage while uping the HP rating. And finally as to why its not supercharged instead, I think it just comes down to turbo technology having advanced so far that there is very minimal drawbacks with a ton of positives.

70

I love me some crazy aero. Massive wings and vents riddling car are awesome. I draw the line, however, when vents turn out to be plastic panels, or useless cut outs that serve no performance purpose. This car seems to have a lot of useless cut outs and lame plastic panels, but as others have said, it's all about the experience.

71

Everyday I hear the same boring statements...wish Honda stuck to more simple boxy designs...why so boring? It's evolution. It's change. Why don't women go back to cavemen days and grow hair ass pits and hairy ass legs and err...you get the picture. Or why don't we go back to cowboy days and just ride freakin horses and sit on wagons all day? No thanks. I embrace change. And you are hearing it from a Honda guy that has owned more than 15 different Hondas and Acuras of all models and generations. Like them all!

72

Why would someone buy this instead of, don't know, Focus RS or the WRX?

73

Someone wouldn't other than being a die hard Honda fan, I personally would be wary of Honda bringing out a turbo engine. Ford used the Focus St as it's guinea pig for it's turbo platform before refining it in the RS and Mustang. Considering the reliability issues and inconsistencies in Honda has played with in it's partnership with Mclaren during the current F1 Hybrid at 35k I'm steering clear of Honda.

74

Each type of car offers different driving styles/conditions/looks and quirks. That's like telling everybody to wear 1 or 2 types of shoes. Most women or even men are not going to like being "boxed" in like that.
Each is unique to a person's personality...

75

Honda fans were complaining years ago about how "old fashion", "geriatric" and non technical aspects the older generation Hondas were. Now...when Honda addresses customers complaints...some like to complain. Please...
The new Civic's are bold, eye catching, offer newest tech, aggressive and still offer great mileage in their base models. I have a new 2017 Civic HB and get numerous compliments and other's asking, "what car is that?"
In my opinion...mission accomplished Honda...

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76

Yeah, but you're getting compliments from people who know nothing about cars? Who cares about that? If I saw your car, I'd say pfft! Look at the pretentious fake vents and intakes!

77

I've been a Honda guy for a long time. Currently drive a 2015 Si and befor that I had a few civics with B series swaps and wheels, OEM Japanese parts etc. this thing isn't doing it for me. For one, 35k makes it pretty out of reach for me. Throw some smaller bronze volks on it and lower it a little and it might tame it down enough to tolerate. I can't really get past the back end. It looks more like an accord cross tour than the first Usdm CTR

78

"Lambo" vents not only on the front but also on the back?
Too much. (i believe it also comes with LCD and a full season of Jersey Shore...)

79

I love my EP3, never really felt anything for the FN2 and got quite excited when the rumour mill started saying about a new CTR. I'm glad Honda have decided to go and build another one, but I won't be buying one. I'm not keen on the looks but that being said, who cares once your inside and enjoying it. I'm sure its fun to drive, and a few friends have the FK2 and love them, but the N/A engine will always be my main draw. If emissions weren't an issue, i would have loved Honda to bring out a bigger displacement engine for it......we can all dream i guess.

80

I'm a habitual cross shopper and at 35k the Civic loses out. Ecoboost Mustang Premium goes for under 30k new. 30k+ and your in CPO STI and EVO territory where the Civic loses out massively. 35k for a civic yes it should've been AWD and probably closer to 360hp. Fact is most die hard Honda fans(which I'm certainly not) regardless of age will and are probably selling their project cars and assets to get the Type R so I take it most Type R will sell out and finding one will be absurd. Much like the GT350 don't be surprised if the Type R is selling with an 8k-12k markup

Author81

Yeah if it's anything like the Focus RS dealers are going to be asking a fortune for these things.

82

FWD is what Hondas are about. I feel if they went with AWD it would almost be like they were trying to completely copy the WRX. Considering that civics are FWD, the Type R should be FWD in my opinion. Also, I like the look. It should be a little over the top. When I see one, I'm gonna know it's a Type R, not just another new civic. Honda did well and I'm excited to see them hit the US market. My opinion is a little biased since I drive a Honda but it looks great to me.

83

I'm not doubting anyone or saying everybody is just hating... but honestly, which vents and other portions of this crazy aero package are just for a visual "wow"factor and are actually non-functional? Honda did a pretty good job of making the body contours look like they were all designed with a function and purpose so it's difficult to tell BS from Performance Enhancing?

84

Let's start with the front intakes on the left and right, which copy the Lamborghini designs, except the Lamborghini intakes let in air, whereas the Type R's intakes are blocked off with a piece of black plastic in the design of a fake grille.

Then there's the reverse side - another set of air vents, mimicking the air vents of the rear engine Lamborghini to vent hot air and are therefore open in the Lamborghini; but of course these "vents" are completely closed off with a sheet of black plastic with a fake grille pattern on the front engined Type R, because - it doesn't have an engine in the rear!!

Finally, let's not forget that ridiculous rear spoiler that doesn't do anything on a front wheel drive car!!

85

I've seen this comment over and over in this section about people hating the fake vents and hating that the stuff on the car like the third pipe are there just for the look, but from the many articles and videos i've been checking recently to know a little bit more about the Type R, i've heard them saying that everything on the car is supposed to be there for a reason, the third pipe really serves a purpose as the vents are supposed to help in a way or another.

86

LOL - the fake vents have a purpose? If they did, they wouldn't be designed to look exactly the same as Lamborghini vents which actually serve a functional purpose to intake or expel air - they would look similar to some of the aerodynamic/downforce wings or fins if their purpose is downforce/aerodynamic.

There's nothing magical about Honda's engineering - any real performance feature would have first been used on a higher end exotic before it filtered down to cheaper cars. The Type R's fake vents and intakes are clearly cosmetic fake nonsense. Let's call it what it is.

87

Too much, definitely too much. I'm sure its wonderful to drive on smooth tarmac (and the exact opposite on real roads), but the looks are way, way too flashy.
The nicest Honda EVER was the DC2 ITR, with the round headlights. Clean lines!

88

-10 horsepower USA :(

89

1. Fail Wheel Drive
2. Fake intakes, scoops, vents. If it's to be taken seriously as a race car, then why the same fakeness that's present on grocery getters like Accents and Corollas? All the fakery makes me overlook any real performance it might have. It's like GSP wearing a muscle suit when he steps in the ring.
3. It tracks well, but going on a track is as much being part of a community as going fast. How can you look anyone in the eye driving that pretentious thing? I can't wait to line up against one of these hideous cars at the lights.

90

I personally think that its worth the money even if people say that its not due to its layout. But the way i see it, the technology installed and the refinement of those parts make up for the so called inferior fwd layout and is more than capable to decimate other platforms out there.

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