Honda Civic Type R goes beyond the hype
Text by Ronald delos Reyes, photos by Ardie Lopez
There is one thing every performance car enthusiast loves to do right after a new sports car is introduced in the local market: Try it in the actual flesh. Well, just a few months after Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) debuted the sixth-generation Honda Civic Type R in our own turf, owners and select guests from the Honda community and the media exactly got what they wanted and found the high-performance icon right where it belonged – the race track. Here, everyone was just eager to find out whether or not the hot hatch was actually as good as it is on paper.
Dubbed as: “the All-New Civic Type R Ultimate Track Experience,” the exclusive event pitted participants behind the wheel to a comprehensive driving and track orientation designed for them to better appreciate this prodigy’s exceptional capabilities around the four-kilometer Clark International Speedway in Pampanga.
The Grade 4 FIA-licensed race track, consisting of 18 turns running in a counter-clockwise direction, not to mention a 970-meter drag strip, was the perfect playground to test the prowess of this Civic Type R (designated under the model code FL5). Specifically, here, it was free to unleash the might of its 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC VTEC turbocharged In-Line four-cylinder engine, mated to six-speed manual transmission with a Rev Match Control System, churning out 319hp and 420N-m of torque.
The track day allowed participants to feel the FL5 in its true element. At the onset, the stunner is crafted in sporty, sharp designs with its aerodynamics developed by HRC Sakura Super GT. From its new bumper paired with LED head lamps, honeycomb grille mesh, functional front fender air outlets, more elongated hood and side sill garnish, all the way to its more aggressive stance accentuated by wider rear doors, reshaped rear bumper, its updated signature three-round exhaust outlets and redesigned rear spoilers, together with its Matte Black finished 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 265/30 high-performance tires, it oozes with nothing but machismo. Do note—however—that these are all not just swag but instead serve a higher purpose compared to mere ordinary vehicles. Hence, the track out there gave this demigod permission to do so.
Personally, while pushing the pedal to full throttle, running at 180 kilometer per hour speed on the straight, I felt its muscular exterior aerodynamics’ efficiency, generating significant downforce. Power-to-weight ratio was on point, thanks to its lightweight resin.
Inside, interior ergonomics were exquisite. The amalgamation of elements from a familiar cabin layout derived from the standard Civic, its aluminum shift knob to its black and red motif, racing-inspired Type R bucket seats in Alcantara leather simply bestowed one bliss.
Moreover, during the Sunday affair, HCPI likewise aspired to showcase the Type R’s new enhanced version of the Honda LogR Performance Datalogger. It combines its onboard computer and sensors with a built-in app, assisting drivers monitor a variety of performance parameters. All data are captured real-time while driving as it aims to improve the driver’s behavior and skills. For one, the Performance Monitor provides vehicle information to the driver such as 3D Display, Tire Friction Circle, cornering G-forces, the status of oil and coolant temperatures, oil pressure and many others. Meanwhile, the Auto Score shows how the car behaves and measures driving performance, using key driving parameters as one accelerates, decelerates and turns. Lastly, the Data Log analyzes driving data to check on driving habits on the racetrack. It also scores track performance, provides lap time and Heat Map.
In a statement, HCPI president, Masahiko Nakamura said: “Like its predecessors, the FL5 embodies the true qualities of a sports hatch, engineered to deliver ultimate performance and the most rewarding driving experience. Truly uncompromising, the new Civic Type R is not just fast, it is a car that can be driven with complete confidence. It is quite a representation of Honda’s strong passion to provide its customers with products, technologies, and services that will give them so much joy.”
First batch of units all sold, more to come
According to HCPI, all 39 units included its first batch were already sold in just a couple of months of rolling the model in the local market.
“We’re planning to bring in more units,” Nakamura continued.
Thus, with this, together with how this sixth-generation Honda Civic Type R performed overall on the track last weekend, just goes to show that this here is more than just hype. Truly, it is a testament of 30 years of a masterful piece of work behind this high-performance icon.