Japanese Domestic Market Civic Type Rs: Spotted


This year, as you may have noticed, marks 25 years of Honda making Type Rs. Amongst them are some truly legendary cars - Integra and NSX most notably - as well as perhaps the most well known Type R of them all: the Civic. Conveniently enough, 2017 is the 20th anniversary of that model - albeit not consecutive years, granted - so there's no better time for a delve into the classifieds to see what's on offer in the world of souped-up Civics.

Remember when Civics were this tiny?
Remember when Civics were this tiny?
That two decades of Type R means non-UK cars have to be included, the Japanese-only EK9 Type R where the super Civic saga began in 1997. We've already welcomed it into the PH Hero ranks, the combination of a wild powertrain, tiny kerbweight and import-only mystique securing its place. Think too of how UK hot hatches looked in 1997: Escort GTI, Bravo HGT, perhaps a 3 Series Compact if you were pushing the boat out. Alright, so a quick 306 would have done a good job, but over in Japan Honda was offering a Civic making more than 100hp per litre and weighing just over a tonne. It made even the VTI sold over here look a little ordinary.

Like so many icons of the Japanese performance car scene from the turn of the millennium, a good few EK9 Type Rs have made their way over here - some still are being imported, in fact. This particular Civic appealed because it's Championship White - the best Type R colour, even if this yellow car does look pretty cool - and because it's cheap: £5,800 is more than £2,000 less than any other on PH at present.

Here's what you're paying for
Here's what you're paying for
The reason? Higher mileage than most, at 118,000, but then doesn't it look clean? The paint looks fresh, the wheels are good and even the underbonnet shot doesn't throw up any apparent horrors. The driver's seat bolster is worn, of course, and a standard steering wheel would look better - don't even mention the sub - though the car has only been in the UK for two years (making rust less of an issue) and the owner is only selling because they have too many cars. That's usually a good sign, right?

For another £1,000, one of the later EP3 Civic Type Rs that just Japan was treated to is available. Don't mistake these for just a UK car painted in Championship White either - this was a tangibly more serious proposition. Power was up by 15hp thanks to bespoke valves, pistons and cams, and it revved higher too. There was a standard mechanical limited-slip diff, a unique suspension tune, those lovely red Recaros and, of course, the paint option. Bemusingly, the Japanese car was made in Swindon and then sent over for sale in Japan (note the Union Jack on the boot).

Built in Swindon to be sold in Japan. Huh
Built in Swindon to be sold in Japan. Huh
These cars are more expensive to buy than regular UK Civic Type Rs, though you are at least paying for a better version and not simply because it was only sold in Japan. This Type R, for sale at £6,995, was only imported this year and comes with less than 80,000 miles. As far as can be seen it's standard and comes with all its Japanese papers as well.

You don't need us to tell you that buyers after a hot hatch from the 2000s are spoilt for choice in the UK, various Renaults and Fords and everything else ticking a lot of boxes that makes an import a tough sell. But on top of the rarity and Gran Turismo kudos, these Civic Type Rs are serious performance cars too, a notch above their well regarded UK counterparts so well worth a look. And 8,000rpm is only going to get more exciting as it becomes less common...


HONDA CIVIC TYPE R (EK9)
Engine: 1,595cc, 4-cyl
Transmission: 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive, limited-slip diff
Power (hp): 185@8,200rpm
Torque (lb ft): 118@7,500rpm
MPG: Well it's only a Civic, right?
CO2: N/A
First registered: 2015 (in UK)
Recorded mileage: 118,000
Price new: Approx. 2,000,000 yen (£16,500, 1997)
Yours for: £5,800

See the EK9 advert here.

HONDA CIVIC TYPE R (EP3 JDM)
Engine:
1,998cc, 4-cyl
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive, limited-slip diff
Power (hp): 215@8,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 149@7,000rpm
MPG: Well it's only a Civic, right?
CO2: N/A
First registered: 2017 (in UK)
Recorded mileage: 79,000
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £6,995

See the EP3 advert here.

 

[Sources: Wikipedia, TypeROwners]

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (37) Join the discussion on the forum

  • rossub 6 days ago

    Just had a look at the prices in Japan for both of these and they're all £7k+ for anything decent..... then add 30% tax, £800+ shipping etc.... sad times.

    I had the EP3 for a year and it's the most fun car I've ever owned. Perfect for our roads.

  • Mr2Mike 6 days ago

    It's a real shame that Honda didn't fit the hydraulic power steering from the DC5 to the Civic, it would have removed the single biggest criticism of the car.

  • David87 5 days ago

    Love both of these. The EP3 particularly is excellent - I’d love an absolutely mint one!

  • keo 5 days ago

    Mr2Mike said:
    It's a real shame that Honda didn't fit the hydraulic power steering from the DC5 to the Civic, it would have removed the single biggest criticism of the car.
    I may be wrong but I thought they did?

    I had a premier edition ep3 and hated it because of the EPAS it was up for sale after less than a month. Shame because everything else was good.

  • Butter Face 5 days ago

    keo said:
    Mr2Mike said:
    It's a real shame that Honda didn't fit the hydraulic power steering from the DC5 to the Civic, it would have removed the single biggest criticism of the car.
    I may be wrong but I thought they did?

    I had a premier edition ep3 and hated it because of the EPAS it was up for sale after less than a month. Shame because everything else was good.
    All EP3’s have EPAS. No hydraulic in any model.

    Not something that bothers me IMO. The EPAS is hardly ruins what is a great car.

    I should have just bought a JDM EP3 instead of messing with mine hehe

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