The 2020 Honda Civic Type R has been unveiled at the Tokyo show. Anyone silently hoping for wholesale changes to the car's divisive exterior will be disappointed; everyone already in love with Honda's mega-hatch will be pleased to hear that the package stays broadly the same - as you can no doubt tell from the official reveal images.
So it's a minor facelift - the design alterations are limited to a larger grille opening for improved engine cooling and the introduction of Type R-exclusive Boost Blue paint - but that doesn't mean the changes are insignificant. Mechanically speaking, output remains the same at 320hp/295lb ft of torque, although Honda has had another go at the car's already impressive chassis, updating the dampers for improved ride comfort and installing stiffer rear bushes in the pursuit of additional grip.
It also claims, via an unspecified 'modification to the front suspension', to have reduced friction and enhance steering feel. Elsewhere it has introduced new pads and two-piece brake rotors to reduce fade and stopping efficiency. And while the current Type R could not be considered deficient in any of these aspects, further development of its talent is always welcome.
The same can not necessarily be said of the decision to add Active Sound Control to the car's kit list. Honda doesn't go into detail about the system, except to say that it "modifies interior sound in concert with (the) chosen drive mode". Precisely what manner of sound Honda plans to pipe in, and how likeable (or not) it is, we will just have to wait and see.
The decision to wrap the steering wheel and restyled gear knob in Alcantara is certainly less contentious, as is Honda's promise that a new shifter will result in a shorter throw. Expect that to be about it for the Type R's cabin, although the manufacturer has thrown in its latest Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assist technologies for good measure.
No word just yet on price changes or availability, although with a new Volkswagen Golf GTI just round the corner don't expect Honda to drag its feet. The firm also revealed a new colour for the NSX in Tokyo - returning Indy Yellow Pearl II to the option list. We like that, too.
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