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 Leisure

The all-new Honda Civic Type R

11th November, 2017

Mention ‘Type R’ to a car enthusiast and you’ll usually receive excited comments. The name refers to Honda’s iconic racing and sports model which has a reputation that is almost cult-like. The Type R, which started as a limited production variant of the NSX supercar, has built quite a reputation over the last 25 years.

Its development characteristic has always been dynamic performance and mechanically simple in order to achieve best performance both on the road and on the race track.

However, the earlier models were not planned for sale globally with the sedan largely confined to the Japanese market. Of course, private importers would sell them in other countries as there was demand but owners would not have after-sales support. Malaysia was an exception and one of the few countries which Honda permitted the official sale of one generation of the Civic Type R.

For the latest generation of the Civic, Honda has decided to offer the Type R variant in more markets and of course, Malaysia is also on the list. The model, imported from Honda’s factory in England, is now available in Malaysia with a pricetag of RM320,000.

It comes to the market with strong credentials, having been crowned ‘Champion of Champions’ title for having successfully set a new benchmark lap time record of 7 minutes 43.80 seconds at the Nurburgring Circuit in Germany in April 2017.

The latest Civic Type R is powered a 2.0-litre VTEC turbocharged engine which produces up to 310 ps of power with maximum torque of 400 Nm. The high output passes through a close-ratio 6-speed manual gearbox on its way to the front wheels.

Earlier Type Rs were less sophisticated in terms of electronic systems but today, Honda uses electronics more extensively to enhance the driving experience. For example, there is a 3-Way Driving Mode which allows the driver to change the performance and comfort levels to suit personal preference.

The system controls the Adaptive Damper System, Drive-by-Wire throttle, Electronic Power Steering, Vehicle Stability Assist, traction and brake systems. Whichever mode is selected (Comfort, Sport or R+), the car will still offer an exhilarating experience.

At a glance, the exterior of the model does not come across as a hatchback but it is actually based on the latest Civic Hatchback and not the sedan that is sold in Malaysia. If the aggressive looks do not already identify the model, the iconic red H badge which is exclusive to Type R models will.

The Civic Type R is designed to be race-ready from the inside out. There’s a D-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel and lightweight bucket front seats as part of the racing package. While every car Honda builds has a unique serial number (usually on a plate in the engine bay), the one for the Civic Type R is also displayed on the centre console.

To provide the driver with racing feel, the soft-touch switchgear is designed to deliver high-quality feel and positive action. It comes with 3-metre display variations and the illumination and metre layout changes based on the selected mode. Throttle Response and Brake Input, Turbo Boost, G-force and Lap Time are available depending on which drive mode has been selected.

With so much power, Honda makes sure that the safety levels are also high. The car comes with standard driver-assistance systems such as Vehicle Stability Assist, ABS, Traction Control, and Electronic Brake Distribution. Six airbags are installed for deployment during a crash and for those who want to take along small kids for the ride, there are ISOFIX points to securely mount compatible child seats.

All Civic Type Rs sold through authorised Honda dealers in Malaysia will come with a factory warranty of 5 years with no limit on mileage. Considering the high performance nature of the car, the 5-year period certainly reflects Honda’s confidence in the quality of its engineering. Incidentally, service intervals are at 10,000 kms, which is the norm these days.

Because of the specialised nature of the Civic Type R, Honda has selected 20 dealers around the country to sell it and provide after-sales services. This will ensure that the car receives attention from qualified personnel who have been specially trained on the Type R.

Although the price of RM320,000 seems steep, Honda Malaysia says that they have already received bookings from 60 customers in the past month. That’s double their expectation of 30 units a month although over time, the number may settle to that. Only the exclusive Championship White colour is available.

   
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