Brash hatchback also gets sensible with added safety gear.
One of our favorite hot hatches has made its world debut at the 2020 Tokyo Auto Salon with a slew of performance enhancements to the engine cooling system, brakes, aerodynamics, and suspension. We already know the Honda Civic Type R for its stellar front-wheel-drive dynamics, brilliant six-speed manual gearbox, and 306-horsepower screamer. Although the power output is unchanged, a new Active Sound Control system has been incorporated and can modify the interior sound based on the selected driving mode.
The Civic Type R's sharp steering rack and ample feedback are likely to remain, but it's never been what you'd call comfortable. For 2020, the hot hatch gets revised dampers which Honda says will improve ride comfort, but we'd have to get behind the wheel to confirm this. There are also stiffer bushings to further enhance grip, along with two-piece brake rotors and all-new brake pads - the automaker says these improvements will reduce fade and take high-speed braking efficiency up a few notches.
The shouty and brash exterior has also gotten some attention in the form of a bigger front grille opening (claimed to improve engine cooling) and a new Boost Blue color which is exclusive to the Type R. As before, the triple exhaust outlets, giant rear wing, and huge air intakes combine for one of the most outrageous-looking hatches on the market. In the sportiest +R driving mode and with the high-revving four-cylinder engine pushed to its limit, the hottest Civic still generates loads of attention.
Honda only supplied three images of the 2020 model - all other pictures are of the 2019 model.
It's not all about striking fear into the hearts of the competition, though, because the 2020 Civic Type R also gets the Honda Sensing suite of driver-assistive technologies, a new Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, and a redesigned shifter knob. The well-built cabin is another strength of the latest Civic generation and is even better with the Type R's sporty seats, although we'll have to see if the pre-facelift model's eye-popping red trim remains.
Honda is yet to confirm pricing, but the 2019 Civic Type R carried an MSRP of $35,700. The automaker says that the updated model will go on sale later this winter.