It's no secret we're pretty big fans of the latest Honda Civic Type R, or FK8, here at PH. And so, it seems, is half the world - our sister titles have raved about it in equal measure, as has the majority of the motoring press; meanwhile, owners who've just taken delivery seem to be, by and large, deeply pleased with their purchases.
In the meantime, nobody's been talking much about the FK2 Type R. Obviously. I mean, why would you? Well, perhaps because, while we've all had our eyes on the new car, it's been gently sitting in the background, depreciating all the time. As proven by this rather lovely-looking example, for sale in the classifieds at just £17,999.
This is, after all, still a car worth raving about. Lest we forget, the 310hp powerplant is shared with the FK8 - albeit with a slight power hike in the later model. Still, it's enough to see the FK2 to 62mph in a very respectable 5.7 seconds. But there's more to life than just figures, and the way the FK2 hoovers up tarmac is quite sensational; the muscle that 2.0-litre turbo offers is phenomenal, yet it combines with a habit of urging you on to the red line - perhaps not with quite the manic revviness of Type Rs of old, but there's enough there to detect the familial link.
And one could hardly describe the FK2 as looking dated. Not when the FK8 is just as mad to look it. In fact, to some eyes, the more cohesive underlying shape of the previous-generation Civic means the FK2 is actually the prettier of the two cars.
So, same model, same engine (almost), same bonkers styling - but almost half the price. Where's the catch? Erm... well, it's hard to find one, really. True, the FK2 is ultimately less itch-scratchingly engaging than its successor. And more compromised, too, with a less forgiving ride and that hyperactive interior. But it'll still put almost as vast a smile across your chops. Yes, yes, the older car's chassis doesn't quite have the incisive brilliance of the newer one, but it still delivers a fantastically responsive turn-in, sensational traction and terrific brakes, and with that engine at its heart the FK2 is still a truly brilliant hot hatch.
The example we've found comes with a Honda service plan until 2020, and evidence of a former owner who's cared about it. The mileage isn't unreasonable, either. All sounds rather rosy, doesn't it? And while it isn't long until its first MOT is due, you'd have to be hideously unlucky for it to fail on anything serious. Granted, the stripe might not be to your taste, but that's easily removable.
Proof positive that, with the FK8 still well out of reach for many of us, its predecessor is starting to shape up as a savvy alternative. It's almost as entertaining, much better value, and looks just as good, if not better. Perhaps we should all be paying the FK2 a little more attention, then.
SPECIFICATION - HONDA CIVIC TYPE R (FK2)
Engine: 1,996cc 4-cyl turbo
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 310@6,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 295@2,500-4,500rpm
First registered: 2015
Recorded mileage: 33,000
Price new: £32,960
Yours for: £17,999
See the original advert here.