Honda Civic Type R GT – A car that perfectly exemplifies the hot hatch category
The countdown to my 14th official car of choice is on, with only 6 months remaining before we retire my current vehicle for something shiny and new I’ve teamed up with Vantage Motor Group to put the latest crop of cars through their paces in order to satisfy my every demanding need.
It seems rather fitting then that I start with a car that as a teenager satisfied every single need I had at the time, which mainly centred around speed and lots of it, It’s a car that I also test drove earlier this year albeit its rather more sensible brother, a car that’s hotly anticipated and extremely fun to drive, of course I’m talking about the Honda Civic Type R.
Since first setting tread on the tarmac in 1997 there has been 4 previous versions of the Type R with this the fifth generation launched at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show before going on sale in July 2017, shortly after it had set a new track record for front wheeled cars at the Nurburgring in Germany.
Labelled by experts as a car that perfectly exemplifies the hot hatch category, I’m lucky enough to have had 4 days to put this beast through it’s paces, and as I pull up at Vantage Honda in Barnsley what immediately strikes me about this vehicle is it’s immense looks, diamond mesh intakes, smoked LED lenses, carbon fibre side skirts, bonnet air intake & 20 inch piano black alloy wheels with red callipers give this car a look that’s going to attract attention.
Just how much attention it attracts is immediately evident as I take a rush hour M62 journey later that evening, attention that even the reigning world Yorkshire Pudding champion just isn’t used to, a van full of workman cruising alongside me with thumbs up in appreciation is just the start of one of the most entertaining drives I’ve ever made, I can’t even sneak through a drive thru without someone jumping out of their own vehicle to come and get a glimpse.
I’m told that vital statistics are centred around newton meters these days, the Type R has 400 of them, if like me you understand bhp better then it’s rather impressive 306 that should wet the appetite or lead to you looking at the speedometer, as I did, and wonder how that just happened.
What impresses me most about the Type R is that beneath those meaty hot hatch looks is a car that’s actually very capable at being a family car too, a trip to Blackpool to witness the bright lights reflect against the white body of the Type R provides the perfect test, car seat easily fitted, pram in the back together with the various layers needed to provide warmth on the west coast and theres still room in the boot for plenty more.
The technology that I’ve previously spoke about in the Civic is also present in the Type R which seems comforting given the speed at which the Type R can travel.
Lane assistance & adaptive cruise control give the feel of a car that wants to aid every moment of enjoyment and with my latest chill playlist blessing my ears curtesy of Apple Car Play that’s a key element of the car it makes for a great family trip to the seaside.
Where the Type R really excels however is on the country roads, a swift touch of a lever and your taken into +R mode, think overzealous handshake, that’s the closest I can come to explain the feeling you get as the car instantly stiffens every part of its body in an attempt to provide the ultimate driving experience, its a thrill, it creates excitement, but also an element of fear at its shear capability.
The doubters will tell you theres no four wheeled drive or automatic version, and whilst I may agree with the later I question how vital 4WD really is, there’s a limit to how fast your ever likely to go and let’s be honest this car ain’t built for farmers.
Special thanks to Vantage Motor groups Honda dealership in Barnsley, as always the staff there provide an incredibly welcoming and knowledgable experience, where will the journey take us next?
The Vehicle I drove was:
Type R GT 2.0 VTEC Turbo Manual
- 0-62MPH – 5.8 secs
- Max Speed 169mph
- From £32,995 (as of November 2017)