R – Rated but Uncensored: Our take on the 2015 Honda Civic Type R
What is manlier than a turbo? I would love to have everyone agree with me and stop right here, I won’t though. Let us go unreasonably deep like only the guys at Audaciously can (I know you’re smirking… Continue my good man). How often do you see the word “turbo” plastered on anything marketed at men? I would venture quite often if you are alive and you haven’t yet lost both eyes in a knife fight or as a result of wrestling a pointy opponent. I have personally seen it stuck on an electric lawn mower, shaving cream and razor, sunglasses even on a drink. A turbo is inherently manly if you think about it: It creates more power, and to be perfectly caveman, power is a man’s art.
What they got wrong last time
To judge the latter fairly one must first judge the former. Although some of what is said here can be disputed, we state it as fact and any reader is obviously free to argue with whichever screen you are reading this on. An honourable mention to the previous generation for not being faster in a straight line than ITS predecessor, not good… It was heavier with barely any extra power over the older model (pre-2007), and it suffered because of that. It is still not a slow car though. It can also be faulted for having a very harsh ride and having lost some of the composure of its older legendary sibling (pre-2007). So we now have some idea of what needed to be improved upon.
Did they fix it?
Well… That cannot be confirmed just yet. The power claimed by Honda will certainly take a beating to the last generation Type R. I envisage a meeting ending with the older of the two limping away like a wounded jakkel (as it should be when a car meets its replacement). The ride and composure remains to be seen. I will however comment that Honda spent a lot of time on the Nurburgring testing, which leads me to believe the car will handle nicely, but also usually suggests (with regards to ride quality) that you will need a full spinal replacement before the first service interval.
As you no doubt (should) have deduced by now.The 2015 Civic Type R will be turbocharged, I will admit, I was the first to rant on about the addition of a turbo to Honda’s purebred. I argued they are messing with a good thing, they are straying from their heritage, and they are going with the stream. I worried it would suffer from turbo-lag, I worried where that VTEC scream would go and what horrid ear molestation a turbo would produce.
I’m sure many a car enthusiast have some of these same gripes, but let’s not bury the Type R badge yet. Yes everyone is going down turbo lane, but, as with many things everyone does, with good reason. In order for a naturally aspirated car to keep up with today’s turbocharged hot hatches, it would have to be either a huge engine or if it wasn’t, it would have to be pushed to the point of its eyes popping. Both these choices have one drawback that is currently a BIG deal: Poor fuel economy. Not to mention the torque deficit in a normally aspirated car versus a car with forced induction. So there, the addition of a turbo has made the new Type R not only more powerful than the previous generation’s NSX (wow), but has also improved the fuel consumption considerably (almost 25%!). Don’t run off and and update your wish list just yet though. Despite having made my point, once again we shall push on further.
Are you paying attention? Here it comes!
To get back to my initial reaction. It looks like Honda has done their best to minimise the downsides of using a turbocharger. The footage provided thus far doesn’t show a car with noticeable turbo-lag, and the car does have a somewhat satisfying deep mumble to the exhaust note, all be it not quite as intoxicating in the high revs as the previous generation. I doubt you will care much about that when lined up next to said previous generation Type R though. You won’t be hearing it from way, WAY in front. Honda says the new car has more than 206 kw and 400 nm torque. It’s no contest really. There will also (still) be magic in the high revs (if we are to believe the sales pitch), I would expect no less considering that is what the Type R’s fan base was built on. Also some news of new tech in the form of “steer axis” to combat the hostile amount of torque steer that can be expected in a front wheel drive car of this potency, so don’t lay awake about that.
Beauty or Beast?
Now to the matter of how it looks. Think inconspicuous, now stop because it is NOT THAT, not in the least. If the word inconspicuous had to be used in describing this road rocket, it would only serve as to describe the Civic Type R as an inconspicuous Bat mobile. It is racy in every sense of the word, and the 20” wheels only adds to that. I would call it beautiful but classy it is not.
According to a Honda spokesperson they are aiming this at the Golf R and Focus RS: they are aiming high then. Still I think this time around they should be a solid contender in this upper part of the Hot-Hatch market. Lastly and to conclude this quick look at the 2015 model, to aid in your decision of acquisition our feelings on the 2015 Honda Civic Type R are as follows: If you loved the old one but thought “I wish it was more flashy and faster to the point of concern” problem solved!
Engine: 2.0 l, 4 cylinder, Turbo VTEC
0-100: Under 6 Seconds (Estimated)
Fuel Economy: 5.8 l/100km
Feast your eyes on the beast: