Clever work from Honda, this. By holding back the power output of the new FL5 Civic Type R with the original reveal, we were all obliged to rush back when the magic number finally arrived. Now the output has been confirmed in the States: 315 SAE net horsepower at 6,500rpm, and 310lb ft at 2,600rpm-4,000rpm. Obviously, those are figures for the US-spec Type R, making it the most powerful Honda ever sold in North America, and represent modest gains over the previous generation offered there. Assuming we see the same numbers in Europe (recent brochure leaks suggest a modest variation, at least for the JDM), that torque improvement is valid (295lb ft was the old number), but power is unchanged: 315 US horsepower is 320 metric horsepower, just like before. Or 319.369, to be specific. The K20C1 2.0-litre engine has been upgraded with a redesigned turbo (with new turbine wheel blades) and a more efficient exhaust.
Still, the Civic felt more than fast enough beforehand, and there’s plenty to get excited about even if this isn’t a 350hp road rocket. There’s a lighter flywheel and new rev-matching software to complement what’s said to be an even more rewarding six-speed manual, improved cooling to maintain track performance and an active exhaust ‘to heighten and enhance the sound of the engine.’ That’s before considering the chassis tweaks, too, with a longer wheelbase (now 2,736mm) for greater stability, a stiffer structure, and tracks increased by 25mm at the front and 19mm behind. Honda says that wider tracks and suspension tweaks will improve steering feel. A revised brake booster aims to make the pedal feel even better than before.
And that’s not the end of the good news, either, as the Civic’s interior gets a lower driving position for the iconic red seats and - get this - the ‘largest touchscreen ever in a Type R’. Given the old screen could be a source of some frustration, let’s hope it’s improved this time around. A new LogR datalogger no longer needs a smartphone app to function, so there’ll be no excuse not to record every bit of track driving and have the car show up where you could be faster. Data can also be shared with other Type R owners, like a Strava for track days. Which absolutely won’t end in disaster.
"Type R is very important for Honda as the pinnacle of our factory performance and an irreplaceable brand that enables enthusiasts to experience Honda's racing spirit, and seek the ultimate in speed and driving pleasure," said Hideki Kakinuma, global Civic Type R development leader. "The all-new Civic Type R will continue that legacy, leveraging Honda's racetrack-proven engineering to deliver extreme performance and passion—both on the road and on the racetrack." Sounds pretty good, right? Those first drives can’t come soon enough.
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