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2015 Honda Civic Type R officially unveiled; 228kW, FWD, manual only

March 4, 2015

This is finally it everyone, the all-new 2015 Honda Civic Type R. Honda calls it a race car for the road, featuring the first turbocharged engine for a Type R model.

2015 Honda Civic Type R-driving

We’ve already seen countless teaser images, prototype shots, and even almost-production-ready concepts. But finally this is exactly the car you’ll soon be able to buy from Honda showrooms. It is, at least in design terms, the most outlandish production Honda Civic ever.

Honda’s engineering department underwent extensive aerodynamic analysis and testing to come up with the body, including using computer-based CFD modelling and wind tunnel development. And as you can see, the humble Honda Civic has been transformed into a spaceship for the road.

At the front there’s a purposeful and aggressive chin spoiler which forms into the bumper bar. A wide splitter and deep side skirts help to guide airflow and reduce overall lift at speed. The front bumper bar has also been designed to reduce turbulence around the front wheels.

2015 Honda Civic Type R-back

Underneath the car is almost completely flat, Honda says, allowing airflow to be extracted quickly via the rear diffuser effectively sucking the car to the ground. Meanwhile, up near the roof is a huge rear wing which causes a significant amount of drag and downforce at speed to aid high-speed cornering grip.

So, what powers the new beast? Under the bonnet sits a brand new 2.0-litre turbocharged VTEC engine that produces 228kW of power at 6500rpm, and 400Nm of torque at a low 2500rpm. It redlines at 7000rpm. These are the most impressive figures of any previous four-cylinder Honda engine, allowing the hatch to sprint from 0-100km/h in just 5.7 seconds with a top speed of 270km/h.

The engine is matched up to a six-speed “slick-shifting” manual transmission sending power to the front wheels. Speaking of which, the wheels are 19-inch alloy items wearing 235/35 tyres that were specially developed for the Civic. Behind these are a set of performance Brembo brakes, with 350mm front discs clamped by four-piston calipers.

A new four-point adaptive damper system has been incorporated underneath, providing the driver with “exceptional road holding”, while the front axle is supported by a Dual Axis Strut which Honda says helps to reduce torque steer by 50 per cent compared with the regular Civic’s setup. It’s all controlled by a dual-pinion electric power steering system.

To provide the driver with a suitable office space, the new Civic Type R features lots of Type R components inside, such as a machined aluminium gear knob, high-backed sports seats with suede-effect sections for hip-hugging grip, and splashes of red stitching to provide a racy atmosphere.

2015 Honda Civic Type R-interior

Perhaps the most inviting element of the cabin is the little +R button. Once engaged, the engine response, steering, and adaptive dampers are all altered for an even more engaging and intense driving experience. The damping force is increased by 30 per cent in this mode, for firmer and more agile handling.

Honda Australia has confirmed the new Civic Type R will eventually be introduced locally, probably after it hits other international markets during the middle of this year. Prices are yet to be announced, however, as a guide the previous-gen Civic Type R, which was less powerful and less advanced, retailed from $39,990. The new version is expected to be priced above this.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.

  • Ratty

    I think it will end up in the 50-55k range. It will be interesting to see what Ford price the Focus RS as since they have just surprised with the Mustang pricing. It might influence other manufacturers pricing strategies.

    • RRRRIT

      By the time they release it here renault will have an even faster hatch and reclaim the nur title.
      This should be priority not the nsx that will cost as much as the GTR.

    • Pete

      Well seeing as the Mustang GT will be priced around the $55K mark I can’t see how the Focus RS will be priced above this. Remember the new Focus RS is a global production model, not a limited production run like the previous models. Economies of scale would suggest that it will be sharply priced around the high $40K early $50K mark.

      If Honda can’t keep the price of the Type in the high $30K to very low $40K mark it just won’t sell many if any. For two reasons. In the $50K+ – $60K range there are too many AWD cars (not to mention the RWD Mustang) that will spank the Type R in every category. The second reason is the Type R is just way to ugly of a car. It looks like an egg shaped box that was designed in the early 80’s by a 5 year old. Many others around the world have commented how ugly the car is. So it’s not looking so good for Honda right now. The car already looks dated to what is coming out and has been out in the hypo hot hatch / coupe segment of the market.

      Honda needed to go AWD and with a much better looking body shape if they wanted a winner. Even Ford saw the light as much as they didn’t want to move back to AWD.

      Also I’d be shocked if any review could get anywhere near 5.7 to 100 for this car using accurate timing equipment like VBOX no matter what Honda say. The Japanese manufacturer are notorious for overestimating their 0-100 times.

      What about mention of weight for this car? Ford are stating the new RS will weight less than 1490kg which is pretty amazing these days for an AWD car. I have a feeling this Type R weighs around 1500kg maybe more. This is why Honda has not mentioned weight. Type R’s always stood for light weight and Honda would always mention this. Not with this model though.