AFTER just about a month after being previewed and opened for booking, the all-new Honda Civic Type-R was finally unveiled.
The record holder for the fastest front-wheel drive production car to ever lap the Nurburgring circuit in Germany is retailed at RM320,000, on-the-road excluding insurance, making it the most expensive car to be introduced by Honda Malaysia.
The Civic Type-R — codenamed FK8 — was crowned the “Champion of Champions” title for having successfully set a new benchmark lap time record of 7 minutes and 43.80 seconds in April, which was 7 seconds quicker than the previous FK2 Type-R model.
During the launch ceremony held at Malaysia Autoshow 2017, Honda Malaysia managing director and chief executive officer, Toichi Ishiyama, said “At Honda, we are committed to offer products that are of high value and advanced in technology to provide joy to our customers. We have taken pride in ensuring we retain the core fundamental value in all our products, which embodies the elements of ‘Fun to Drive’”.
Under the hood of the all-new Type-R is a 2.0-litre turbocharged VTEC, a relatively new engine that is capable of producing 310hp at 6,500rpm and 400Nm of torque from 2,500rpm to 4,500rpm.
The power plant is bolted to a sole six-speed manual transmission. The dedicated gearbox was engineered to enable the Type-R’s drivers a close ratio and precise shift experience.
There are three different driving modes to select from; Comfort, Sport and +R.
Based on the modes selected, the car’s Adaptive Damper System (ADS), Drive-by-Wire throttle (DBW), Electronic Power Steering (EPS), Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), traction and brake systems will adjust accordingly to offer the drivers different levels of driving performances.
The striking appearance of the new Type-R, with its low and wide stance, symbolises Honda’s commitment to continue the company’s “Challenging Spirit” and racing legacy.
The exterior was also designed to ensure optimised aerodynamic efficiency, as well as balanced lift and downforce at speeds.
Designed to be race-ready from the inside out, the D-spoke leather steering wheel with titanium silver trim, accompanied by lightweight bucket front seats with red panel pin stripe, as well as an aluminium gear knob ensure that the driver feels that he is in total control of the vehicle.
As a constant reminder of the car’s exclusivity, each of the all-new Type-R will be built with its own special serial number plate, which is positioned on the centre console.
The new Type-R has a new driving feature, the auto-blip function which helps the driver to execute a smooth downshifting without the need to heel-and-toe, the first time ever in the Type-R range’s history.
Other than VSA and ABS, the new Type-R is equipped with other safety features, such as Traction Control, Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Dynamic Guidelines, as well as six airbags and ISOFIX slots.
Prior to the launch, Cars Bikes Trucks was invited to an exclusive interview with the Type-R FK8 assistant large project leader, Hideki Kakinuma.
According to Kakinuma, despite the track-oriented characteristics, the FK8 was also developed to be a refined grand tourer.
“Unlike the previous-generation of the Type-R, where thinner glass was used for weight-saving purposes, this new incarnation uses the identical glass as the car (the Civic FC) it is based on,” he said.
In terms of chassis and structural rigidity, Kakinuma said the new Type-R received adhesive application in addition to spot riveting that is applied on the normal, FC Civic.
He added that, “Not only that the spring and stabiliser rates were increased by 70 per cent and 100 per cent respectively, the suspension geometry also sets the Type-R apart from the base (FC) Civic. This is mainly to fit the dual-axis front strut bar to manage torque-steer under hard acceleration.”
Driving dynamics of the new Type-R was also improved as Kakinuma and his team managed to shift the car’s weight distribution to 62.5:37.5 (front:rear) compared with the previous Type-R’s 65:35.
Honda Malaysia has received 60 bookings for the all-new Type-R as of the launching day.
Customers can visit any of the 20 Honda Sport dealers to view and place a booking for the car.