The third generation 2007 FN2 Civic Type R was received with disappointment in some quarters as the power output was almost unchanged from the EP3, but the 20hp European spec FN2 hatchback was still very attractively priced - at just £17,600, or £18,600 for the better-specced GT model. Japanese buyers were offered the 225hp FD2 saloon instead.
Can you guess this is the Mugen car?
UK hatchbacks were well specced with 18-inch alloys, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX child-seat fixings, electric heated mirrors, aluminium footrests and drilled pedals, Type R sill plates, an individual number on the centre console, an alloy gearknob with red stitched leather, a big red starter button, a rev limit warning, a leather multifunction steering wheel, Type R Alcantara sports seats, a Cat 1 alarm system and flat-folding rear seats. GT model added cruise control, folding door mirrors, automatic headlights, front foglights, climate control, rain-sensing wipers and a refrigerated glovebox, whilst the options list included Bluetooth with voice recognition and sat-nav. More civilised on the road than the EK9 and EP3, the 1,267kg six-speed manual FN2 offered plenty of track day thrills without compromising everyday practicality.
October 2008 saw a minor facelift whilst Honda launched a Championship White Edition with a handy limited-slip diff and white wheels. But the pick of the FN2 models - the wild limited edition Civic Type R Mugen - arrived in 2009. Priced at a burly £38,599 every part of the car received the Mugen motorsport treatment: power was up to 240hp at 8,300rpm with the VTEC punch kicking in at 5,500rpm. Mugen also uprated the pistons, camshafts and ECU, added a quick shift transmission, uprated suspension, bespoke brakes and styling, Mugen 18-inch alloys and offered the option of three oil and water meters, various competition clutches and a two-seat track kit. Perhaps not surprisingly just 16 UK cars were sold, but at least four more were made available in 2011 to be reworked by Mugen to 2.2-litres and 260hp if buyers desired. It's unclear how many were actually officially converted. Japanese buyers were offered a similarly-tuned Milano Red FD2 Mugen RR saloon.
Meanwhile all standard Type Rs came with a limited-slip diff from late 2009 and before the model ceased production Honda also released a 2010 Type R Mugen 200 limited edition with Championship White Mugen styling (but no other Mugen goodies). Around 13,000 FD2 Civic Type Rs were produced in Japan (some of which have since made it to UK shores) whilst 11,615 FN2 models were delivered to UK buyers.
With the exception of the Mugen Type R, FN2 values are still falling with the cheapest examples selling for under £6,000. And that has attracted those looking to modify a Type R. "This version, just like its predecessor, has also been subject to considerable development - sharing similar engine components from the earlier K20A has made them immediately accessible to aftermarket tuning," emphasises Paul West. But tuning hasn't been restricted to big-power forced induction conversions, with a freer-breathing, normally-aspirated, remapped FN2 quite capable of delivering an extra 40hp according to Guy Chamberlain at Type R experts CPL Racing.
In fact Type R tuning is growing in popularity, and with the all-new FK2 Type R boasting a turbocharged engine you can expect to see even more aftermarket-tuned Civics emerging from tuning houses in the coming years.
Buy if: You want a cheap contemporary Type R, or you plan to do further tuning
Don't buy if: You want to get your money back any time soon (except UK Type R Mugen)
We found: 2007 Type R GT in Nighthawk Black, full service history, 57K miles, £7,000
Poor: Under £5,500
Good: £5,500 to £9,000
Special Editions: Type R Mugen 200 £12,000 to £16,000, Type R Mugen £40,000+, JDM (FD2) Type R saloon £13,000+, JDM (FD2) Mugen RR £34,000+,