PistonHeads Expert Opinion
Few hot hatch badges have a history as storied as the Honda Civic Type R. There have been hot civics with VTEC variable valve timing since the late 1980s, and the Type R sub-brand was born in 1992 for a lightweight version of the original NSX, but the badge didn’t find its way onto the bootlid of a Honda Civic until 1997 with the EK9-era three-door. Its 1.6-litre engine was quite the screamer, delivering 185bhp at a heady 8,200rpm. It was never officially imported into the UK, however, so it’s quite the unicorn.
The first officially imported version arrived in the UK in 2001, known semi-affectionately as the ‘bread van’. This time its naturally aspirated engine had grown to 2.0 litres, with 200hp and an 8,600rpm red line. The FN2 version that arrived in 2007 had put on 100kg in weight and only gained a horsepower.
The subsequent two generations have added brawn to the mix in the form of turbocharged power, but the fizzing, hardcore, manic nature of the Type R has remained undimmed. Not for shy, retiring types, but boy will it put a smile on your face.