It’s a big day for fans of fast Hondas. A photograph from a Japanese Civic Type R brochure has leaked on the Civic XI forum, so we might finally know what Honda meant when it said that the new Type R would be its most powerful U.S.-market car ever. The brochure quotes figures of 330 PS and 420 Nm of torque, which roughly translate to 326 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s an extra 19 horsepower and 15 lb.-ft. of torque over the old car, although it’s worth noting that Japanese and European FK8 Civic Type Rs got an extra 10 horsepower over American models. While it’s far from certain that the American version of the new Civic Type R will see a reduction in horsepower to meet emissions requirements, it’s not off the table just yet.
With good news often comes bad, and the new Civic Type R appears to be significantly heavier than the old model. According to this brochure, the new Civic Type R is said to clock in at 3,160 pounds (1,430 kg), up 88 pounds spec-for-spec over the outgoing car. Obviously, weight is another area where the JDM and USDM cars may slightly differ, but 3,160 pounds is a pretty solid ballpark figure. For context, a Hyundai Elantra N clocks in at 3,186 pounds, so while the new Type R is heavier than the old one, it’s not exactly what you’d call tubby.
The other big purported change in the new Civic Type R’s specs is a final drive ratio of 3.842:1 compared to 4.111:1 on the outgoing car. While that’s only around 6.5 percent longer than on the old car, I’m interested to see if it alters the car’s character. The FK8 Civic Type R’s reasonably short gears added so much engagement to the driving experience by giving the driver frequent opportunities to work the incredibly crisp shifter. Second gear was dialed in to top out at 62 mph [Editor’s Note: 62 in second gear doesn’t sound short to me, but what do I know – JT] , while redline in third hit just before license-losing territory.
Anyone who’s spent significant time in the old Civic Type R will know that the fuel tank is roughly the size of a Zippo, and it seems that the new car will continue this tradition with a fuel tank capacity of 12.4 gallons (47 liters). Expect fairly frequent stops for high-octane dino juice if you want to make the most of the turbocharged engine’s powerband.
In case you haven’t noticed already, I’m incredibly stoked for the new Civic Type R. The old one was my favorite new car I drove in 2020, just an incredible exercise in masterfully tuning a performance car. The steering had meaty yet tactile weighting, the engine had the glorious linear surge of power to redline often missing from modern turbocharged engines, overall grip was incredible, and the shifter felt nigh-on perfect. Dare I say, even better than a Miata’s or S2000’s shifter.
Sure, there were a lot of little annoying things about the old Civic Type R. The infotainment system had a glitch that limited audio volume while using Waze, the stereo was somewhat rubbish, the lack of a middle seat in the back was annoying, and the absence of heated seats felt slightly ridiculous [Editor’s Note: Woo-hoo-hoo look at you, big shot – JT] , but great cars that really leave an impression almost all have flaws. Rounded character can make for a car you love warts and all, and the FK8 Type R really fit that bill. Best of all, the old Civic Type R offered remarkable civility. At the end of the weekend, despite the laughably thin 35-series sidewalls, somewhat constant NVH, and moon surface Toronto streets I was driving on, I didn’t feel tired or beat up.
Honda’s engineers masterfully tuned the springs and dampers for a wonderful balance between body control and ride comfort, to the point where I drove with the dampers in the stiff setting all the time. With every shift, every turn of the wheel, every squeeze on the throttle out of corners, the garish looks faded away to the point where I couldn’t care less. Sure, it looked like a standard Civic hatchback owner blew a paycheck or two on bits from AliExpress, but the Boost Blue color suited the anti-social looks. The old Civic Type R was mastery in performance car calibration cloaked in a Hot Import Nights bodyshell. Hopefully the new one lives up to the precedent set by its incredible predecessor.
Lead photo credit: Honda
It’s amusing, if not surprising, how many of the comments here are criticizing the blandness of the new Civic’s looks. The previous generation was loudly dragged throughout its entire run for being too ostentatious. Honda just can’t win, can they?
Indeed I had no interest in the old one because of its looks but find the new one quite appealing. It almost has a 911GT3 Touring vibe of subtle menace rather than It’s straight up looking for a fight.
I feel like there’s probably a happy medium between the two where it would be drastically less polarizing. I think everyone can agree that the past two generations of Civic have been way out on the extreme edges of styling, albeit at opposite edges.
Regardless of which you prefer, I think there’s a strong argument that the new CTR lacks cohesion in its styling. At least the previous gen leaned into the boy racer look, this one reminds me of someone in a suit and a silly hat. They slapped some racy-looking parts on a car that is about as unracy-looking as you can get.
I loved the old Civic. It had a super unique look that was very polarizing. Every time I see one in traffic currently, it makes me smile like a kid. The new civic looks like my aunt’s accord that she loves because it blends in.
Came here to say I saw a new Civic in real life and lemme tell you friends… It’s not bad!! Looks WAY better than the outgoing mishmash dumpster fire of fake vents and body creases. Almost looks like an Accord… which is a good thing. I think.
Anyway I won’t be buying a CTR for several reasons, but I like the upward trend of the design language.
I dislike it for the same reason. It looks like an accord. A very bland, plain yogurt accord.
Sometimes, people want a car with fun performance but without boy racer looks. I’m only 36 and I’d still never drive the previous-gen Type R, but I’d drive this one (although I’d look into deleting the wing). It’s the same reason why I used to drive a Legacy GT instead of an STi.
Different strokes and all that.
Yea it looks clean. I don’t want Pep Boys boy racer looks in anything I drive unless it’s actually functional. Actually even then I don’t want that look. I basically want a Golf R with better reliability. Granted Honda hasn’t been as reliable as Honda of old but I have to think it’s more reliable than a VW.
Honestly, if I had the financial means to both afford to get a Golf R and afford to keep it on the road, I’d get it in a heartbeat. I love how they look.
Can I put this motor in my TSX wagon is what I want to know.
But why? These motors are notoriously trouble-prone already. Mythical Honda reliability has always been that – pure myth.
But the Earthdreams is ho-ho-holy fuck awful. Severe water intrusion problems in the spark wells, numerous major ECU flaws they try to blame on ‘contaminated fuel,’ complete lack of cylinder oil control leading to spun bearings thanks to more fuel than oil, emissions systems failures, excessive intake carbon buildup, excessive plug wear, just… holy fuck is it bad in every possible way.
Besides, the TSX has the 3.5 J35Z6. It’s a far better foundation and a very buildable motor.
TSX wagon only come in 2.4L
I wish I cared more about this car than I do…but for whatever reason the CTR has just never appealed to me.
Jeez, if you were driving that in Toronto, you were driving a $50K Honda. What’s the new price in Canadian dollars going to be? More than I can afford, I’m sure.
I’m going to use this opportunity to state that the photos in this story just reminded me that the new Civic is straight up ugly. Though I also didn’t like the old one, at least the Type R had this oddly appealing mix of muscle and goofy that the new one doesn’t.
The Si should get the 250-hp version from the Accord, and they should also offer an Accord Type-R with the 320 hp engine 🙂
If it winds up in an Integra with an automatic transmission option that isn’t a complete joke (unlikely) it’d be a mighty appealing package to me.
Accord type-R with the engine AND the 6 speed manual ????
So, what does 326hp feel like in a car this small? My wife’s BMW 135 gets 300hp, but way up at 5500rpm, so its not exactly easily usable or attained in everyday driving.
Where does this Civic hit that 326hp?
Somewhere above 5252rpm.
It’s said to hit at around 6,500 RPM, which should be perfect for second-gear pulls onto the freeway.