Honda Civic Sort R overview – Automotive Weblog
We put the newest incarnation of Honda’s scorching hatch by way of its paces – on the highway and on monitor…
There are a handful of latest vehicles worthy of a real fanbase, and the Honda Civic Sort R is one in every of them.
With a pedigree stretching again to 1997, it’s develop into a legendary mannequin within the automotive world – and now it’s the flip of the sixth technology Civic Sort R (which relies on the eleventh technology Civic).
Often called the FL5 in Honda-speak, it takes over from the FK8 (2017-22).
I had excessive hopes for the brand new Civic Sort R after driving the spectacular household hatchback model of the now hybrid-only Civic, as a result of it dealt with very nicely.
I praised its agile drive, including, “it stays flat in more difficult corners, there’s good grip and the steering is properly weighted, which all bodes nicely for the upcoming Sort R”.
Nicely, I obtained my first style of the brand new Honda Civic Sort R at a moist Thruxton circuit, preceded by a assorted highway route on and round a sodden Salisbury Plain.
The brand new Sort R can be a finely tuned evolution of the acclaimed outgoing mannequin, so a troublesome act to comply with.
Already the monitor report holder at Suzuka, Honda reckons the FL5 “is a becoming option to rejoice 30 years of the Sort R nameplate”.
Priced from £46,995, it’s one of the best wanting Sort R but. Inheriting the usual Civic’s softer strains and good proportions. Let’s say it’s much less boy racer and all grown up.
Certain, there are many additional aerodynamics in comparison with its wise sibling, however even the appreciable rear wing appears restrained in comparison with earlier generations.
Not like the common Civic, there’s no electrical help. As a substitute, there’s a extra powerful-than-before 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine.
It’s obtained 325bhp to supply up – barely greater than the 316bhp you bought within the outdated automobile – in addition to 420Nm of torque.
Barely swifter than its predecessor, it might dash to 60mph in a time of 5.2 seconds and go on to a high velocity of 170mph. By way of financial system, that’s 34.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 186g/km.
Inside, it’s had a much-needed replace. Not solely has the general high quality improved, however there’s additionally a brand new infotainment system (lifted straight from the usual Civic).
Add pink Alcantara-trimmed sports activities seats up entrance, pink carpets, a brushed metallic gear knob and a ‘serial plate’ with the automobile’s construct quantity on the dashboard, and you already know you’re driving one thing particular.
There are three drive modes (Consolation, Sport and +R) they usually alter the automobile’s engine, steering and suspension really feel.
There’s additionally a brand new ‘Particular person’ drive setting, the place the steering, adaptive dampers, rev match system and engine response can all be adjusted individually.
Consolation is simply wonderful for lengthy journeys and cruising motorways. Sport sharpens issues up properly, whereas issues get hardcore while you have interaction the +R mode.
Right here, the driving force’s show switches to a brand new structure, extra acquainted to racing drivers. There’s a linear rev graphic flanked by a digital velocity readout and 12 separate gadgets of car info, starting from coolant temperature to steering angle and a G-meter.
The concept is to permit drivers to view their inputs and the way the automobile reacted. Finally, it might provide help to see the place enhancements will be made and go quicker on monitor.
For comparability, I drove the outgoing FK8 on monitor earlier than the brand new FL5. General, the FL5 is extra refined, forgiving and responsive. I had a few moments (corrected due to my razor-sharp reflexes!) within the FK8 on a few corners at soggy Thruxton, however no such drama within the FL5.
I undoubtedly felt extra assured within the FL5, which ties in with the most important features over the outdated Sort R, particularly the improved chassis rigidity and dealing with efficiency because of tweaks to the steering and suspension.
Useless, to say, the brand new Honda Civic Sort R is extremely quick – and never simply in a straight line. Its potential to nook at velocity is phenomenal for a front-wheel drive automobile, whereas the traction on supply is nothing wanting astonishing.
The brakes deserve reward too. Not solely do the Brembos (at the side of wider 19-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres) work beautifully, however Honda has made adjustments to the entrance wheel arches to assist cooling.
Tweaks have additionally been made to the exhaust system (there at the moment are three pipes!), so the soundtrack is healthier than ever. Naturally, it’s at its loudest within the +R setting, however some may discover a lengthy journey in Sport mode tiresome, so greatest to stay to Consolation, which is less complicated on the ears and provides a extra compliant trip.
Ultimate phrase to the graceful and exact six-speed guide gearbox.
And as if all that isn’t adequate, then the Civic Sort R is a sensible day by day driver too. There’s ample area up entrance and solely the tallest of rear seat passengers have purpose to complain (the penalty for that swooping roofline). You additionally get the identical 410 litres of baggage capability as the usual Civic, increasing to a helpful 1,212 litres with the again seats flipped.
So, the brand new Civic Sort R is tough to fault. Maybe the one fly within the ointment is its premium value and the truth that will probably be supplied in very restricted numbers within the UK – and we’re speaking a whole bunch, not hundreds.
Verdict: The Honda Civic Sort R has matured into scorching hatch royalty. Remarkably good to drive, it’s an superior mix of efficiency, driving engagement, know-how and practicality.