As ever the car’s character is controlled via performance settings with Comfort, Sport and +R modes, though happily the addition of a new ‘Individual mode’ should add some customisability to the experience. “Comfort suspension, +R everything else,” is something we very much look forward to trying on our smashed British roads. Crucially, the excellent six-speed manual transmission lives on almost unchanged in the new car. There’s revised auto rev-matching software and an upgraded gate for improved precision in shifts. Fire through the gearbox quickly enough with enough traction at the front axle, and Honda claims 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds, while it will go on to a top speed of 171mph.
The brakes carry over too – a Brembo system with two-piece disks. Definitely worth noting is the claim that this new Civic Type R’s body is supposedly lighter and more rigid than the FK8, so we expect the suspension has been revised in concert.
Honda’s never been shy to prove the Civic Type R’s pedigree with headline grabbing Nürburgring lap-times, the newest versions often tasked with setting a new lap record around the hallowed Nordschleife. The FK8’s crown was stolen in 2019 by the ultra-hardcore Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R, and while Honda has yet to make any mention of heading back to Germany to retake the title with the FL5 Type R, we certainly wouldn’t be surprised. After all, it’s already set a new front-wheel drive record at Suzuka.
One aspect more revolutionary than the carefully nurtured chassis and engine is the completely new interior, with the garnish of Type R now glazing the classy cabin of the latest-generation Civic. That means, dare we say it, a somewhat retro dash wearing a crisp display on which the Honda LogR data logger returns in a heavily updated form. It features a stop watch, tyre friction circles, a 3D vehicle motion display and a scoring function for helping the driver to improve their skills. There’s a high-def driver’s display too with the kind of Type R visual upgrade you’d expect – revs front and centre with a red highlight and as we can see in the images, a G meter.