The New Civic Type R Has 315 Horsepower And No Longer Looks Like It Crashed Into An Autozone

2023 Honda Civic Type R

Well, well, well. After a month of waiting and a leaked Japanese spec sheet, Honda has finally released American specs and a feature list for the new Civic Type R. While the new Type R’s potency isn’t quite what we were hoping for given the leak, it still sounds like a proper riot.

2023 Honda Civic Type R

Let’s start with power, where the mildly disappointing word is that American Civic Type R models will only make 315 horsepower at 6,500 rpm. I’m not even mad, 306 horsepower in the last car felt like plenty so 315 should be alright in the new one. Peak torque of 310 lb-ft appears as a very nice plateau from 2,600 to 4,000 rpm, so we’re looking at a fairly broad power band. As with before, Honda’s using the K20C1 engine, a two-liter four-cylinder lump fed an impressive 23.3 psi of boost in this state of tune. Also like the old car, power goes to the ground the proper way, through a six-speed manual gearbox and a helical limited-slip differential as the hot hatch gods intended. Cooling was a little bit of an issue with the old Civic Type R, so Honda’s gone back to the drawing board, increased frontal opening area, thrown in a bigger radiator and paired it with a bigger fan. Fingers crossed that these tweaks will allow for longer track sessions.

Curiously, these K20C1 engines will have traveled thousands of miles before American Civic Type Rs make it onto dealer lots. While each odometer should show delivery miles, K20C1 engines are assembled in Ohio, shipped all the way to the Yorii Plant in Japan to be mated with bodies, then the finished cars will be shipped across the Pacific to American dealerships. It’s an unbelievable amount of effort and expense, but the K20C1 is an absolute gem so I’m not surprised Honda’s going to such lengths.

2023 Honda Civic Type R

Right, that’s power covered, but what about handling? Well, the last Civic Type R had really quick steering, and the new car’s 11.6:1 steering ratio feels up to the task of continuing that genetic trait. However, the old car’s turning circle the size of Rhode Island hasn’t been exorcised. The new car requires curb-to-curb distance of 39.9 feet, almost five inches more than the last car needed and 2.4 inches more than a Cadillac Escalade requires. Woof. As expected, adaptive dampers are standard, while the new Civic Type R features a 29 mm hollow front anti-roll bar and a 20 mm solid rear anti-roll bar to help keep it flat through the corners.

Any performance car is usually only as good as its brakes, and brakes are generally limited by tire performance. To beef up stopping power, Honda has equipped the new Civic Type R with two-piece 13.8-inch front discs , four-piston aluminum front brake calipers, a retuned brake booster, and improved brake cooling that represent a significant overhaul of the braking system. As for tires, Honda’s chosen to employ the benchmark max performance summer tire, the Michelin PS4S, in square 265/30R19 sizing. An extra 0.2 inches of sidewall sounds quite nice for daily driving, while a slightly shorter tire circumference should give some pep back given the new car’s shorter final drive ratio.

2023 Honda Civic Type R

As the Civic Type R will be a daily driver for a lot of people, Honda’s amped up the feature content for the latest generation. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard, as does a 12-speaker Bose stereo and wireless charging. There still aren’t heated seats or a heated steering wheel for cold-weather driving, but the rear wiper is said to have a heated zone for cold weather performance. Of all things to heat, this has to be the weirdest. There’s also still no center seat in the back, so the Civic Type R is strictly a four-passenger affair.

Other big developments include track telemetry that can be accessed through the infotainment system and confirmation of an actual color palette. Sure, Championship White is iconic, and both Crystal Black Pearl and Sonic Gray Pearl are agreeably neutral, but the Civic Type R is a hot hatch that should be had in good colors. Rallye Red isn’t just nice and bright, it’s a no-cost option, while boisterous Boost Blue Pearl is absolutely my pick of the bunch, Superman interior contrast be damned.

[Ed note: I’m ok with the Superman contrast, but I think it’s worth pointing out that it no longer looks like, as I just heard, “a Transformer mid-transformation” in our Autopian Slack (I’ll let you guess who said it). I am looking forward to the CTR stans coming in and defending the way the current one looks. It’s unique! This is a little less so but, also, a little more handsome in my view. – MH]

Boost Blue

Between solid specs and a reasonable list of amenities, the new Civic Type R looks properly wicked. While it’ll face stiff competition in the form of the Volkswagen Golf R and Toyota GR Corolla, Honda’s hot hatch has a certain legacy that lets it enjoy loyalty and reverence. Besides, the last one was the best hot hatch I’d driven in ages, so I have fairly high hopes for the new one. Expect pricing to be announced closer to the Civic Type R’s autumn launch. Should performance and pricing prove similar to the last Type R, my bank account would be in serious danger.

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41 Responses

    1. Oh, yes. I’d even prefer the double spoiler setup from the last gen’s hatchback sport (roof and duckbill). This just looks silly on the handsome lines of the current hatch.

    2. I couldn’t figure out what was “wrong” with it, but you’ve hit the nail on the head. The rear wing doesn’t match the styling of the rest of the car. Wing says super hardcore autocross, while the other 90% says special Civic Si.

      Give me a smaller wing that is painted body colour and I think it’s a grand slam.

  1. I wish it was wagonier (more like a station wagon) if only that roof line just stayed straighter instead of curving down behind the front doors/b pillar. It is too coupe like for my tastes

    1. Type R’s should be a 2 door hatchback, unless they’re going to an Integra Type R, but I don’t think there’s going to be an Integra 2 door, so I dunno.

  2. Another lump of unobtainium to wave in front of the poors. These will be gobbled up by idiots willing to pay 20k over sticker and “influencers” willing to show them off on their YouTube channel.

    1. I dunno. I drove from Philly to Connecticut and back yesterday, and I saw at least 5 current gen Civic Type R on the highway. I even saw a yellow Integra Type R and a Veloster N. I’ve been seeing more hot compacts in the wild in the past year or two than I have in a decade. It’s really a good thing.

  3. Glad to see the big fake vents are gone. Not sure about the Farting center exhaust dump, but at least it still gets a Manual trans option. Honestly this is one unit that should have gotten the RAV4 prime treatment with the Electric motor pushing the rear. AWD and 400HP in a hot hatch would sure be something.

  4. To preface: I currently own a 90 Civic Si, have owned 86 Civic Si, 90 Prelude Si, 89 Accord, 91 Civic, 92 Accord, and still have an 00 insight. I’m not really a fanboi, I have a lot of other cars, but I love 80s/90s hondas….

    This? I feel nothing. It’s gigantic. It is LARGER and HEAVIER than my accord or prelude. This is an accord imho. It’s not a civic. And 300hp might be impressive for TRACK TESTED BRO and internet bench racing, but it’s too much.

    Give me a SMOL BOI with SMOL BOI power that has good haptics. I don’t WANT big power in my daily hot hatches, I want LESS MASS, tossability, and EXPERIENCE. Give me a crazy high redline, great shifter, and awesome suspension. 300hp is boring, you can’t even get into it for more than a few seconds without either going to jail, or potentially killing yourself.

    I turned 40 a few months ago so I guess I’m old now but this car sucks. Slow car fast > fast car slow. This thing is a giant heavy turd that has nothing in common with what made Hondas a popular tuning platform to begin with.

    1. I started playing GT4 with my 7yr old son recently and Ive regrettably have found… THE perfect setup for cars…

      I usually pick the S2k he picks something loud, fast… which turns out to be uncontrollable. Id been doing great with the S2k.. till I found the SPOON version of the S2k. They made the car much tighter, quicker and handle that much better…

      Then I decided to have a little fun.. and give my SPOON S2k to my 7yr old and Im going to pick a Purple RUF Porsche. Not only was I laughing my ass off the whole time… but it was doing burnouts at the slight touch of the pedal. We still say.. He was comin in HOT and Im doing Burnouts.

      Going back to the Spoon S2k… its fantastic, once you figure out its sweetspot. Stay in 2nd, not first and go as fast as you dare in 3rd.. not upshift to 4th (requires plenty of braking). 2nd / 3rd gear is the perfect spot for that car.

      Ive also owned a 4th / 5th / 6th / 7th gen Accord in combinations of manuel and or stick. Ive had all kinds of fun… but I stopped with the 8th gen Accord. Too big, too lazy too damn much.

  5. It’s better, but the only way to go was up. I wouldn’t be caught dead in the last gen CTR. Clarkson really put it perfectly when he said it was “the car they wouldn’t stop designing”. Just an utterly ridiculous looking thing.

    This is a big improvement, but I think it’s got a bit too much of a donk and I’d take the wing off immediately. Yes, I know it’s functional but what percentage of these will see track work? Maybe 10%? You don’t need that ridiculous thing for daily driving.

    As I’ve lamented into the void several times, I wish the Japanese manufacturers had some kind of performance automatic for literally any of these cars. The take rate for DSG on the spicy Golfs is roughly half. They sell more automatic 86s than manual by a sizable margin. I know that it’s a HARDCORE car and whatever, but I think offering this, the GRC, and WRX variants with either no auto or a joke of one is a big miss.

    I guess they just don’t want to throw R&D into it and they’ll sell all the ones they can make anyway. Oh well. To be fair, some of that is selfish on my part because I live in the middle of a big city and sit in bumper to bumper traffic all the time. I’m not going to daily a manual car through all that personally, although I respect those that do. I’d like to be able to consider Japanese sports cars but when the Koreans and Germans offer slick DCTs they’re just better options for me off the bat.

    1. The problem with spicy Golfs is that their manual transmission options suck; specifically, the gearing is so tall that you pretty much are stuck in 2nd for any sort of spirited driving. Considering Honda has always offered the pinnacle of satisfying manual transmissions, it makes sense for them to lean into that and avoid the R&D headache of a proper DCT.

    2. The VW DSG is wicked good. It’s almost telepathic in how good it is. The flappy paddles work okay too. Honda doesn’t have anything comparable. They also hate paying outside suppliers for transmissions.

      Honda is playing to its strength of having a rocking manual. A good manual isn’t awful to drive in traffic. That said I’d probably get a DSG in a sporty car for dealing with daily heavy traffic.

  6. Why don’t they make it a 2 door and drastically shorten the wheelbase? Then it won’t have a turning circle worse than some school busses.

    That being said what I really want is a new Manual Transmission Fit.

  7. Yeah, the dealer I talked too will have a dealer markup, I guess I will have to wait. Unless other dealers won’t add the markup. But that is like shitting in one hand and wishing in the other.

      1. SURE, blue paint and red trim… is awesome…

        But a black err grey interior with red seats.. isnt exactly what I call a “thoughtful use of a color palate”. I call the interior a lump of shit. Id probably be madder than all hell.. to stare at a idiot ipad stuck in the dash.. and a set of digital guages…

        I dont know if it has a throttle cable or hyd steering.. or hyd braking…
        Im still pissed it doesnt have Honda’s 4 link sus.

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