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Honda Type R Performs Its Civic Duty Down Under

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Honda's hot hatch joins the New South Wales police motor pool.

Police officers have special requirements for their cruisers. They need to be fast and powerful enough to respond to emergencies and chase down speeders, with enough space to carry their gear and arrested perpetrators. Four-door sedans and big SUVs often fit the bill, for American law-enforcement officers at least. But what about a hot hatch?

The cops Down Under in the Australian state of New South Wales evidently think the Honda Civic Type R could be just the ticket, so to speak. So they've pressed one into service – to drum up some enthusiasm, at least.

The vehicle is on loan from Honda's local office as part of NSW Police Force's Eyewatch social-media initiative. It's more about "connecting people with their local police and encouraging them to be active participants in making their communities safer" than it is for chasing criminals. But whatever the purpose, we think it looks pretty cool in its special checkerboard livery, with strobe lights and such.

"The eye-catching design of the vehicle will hopefully be a great conversation starter while on display and get more people, especially younger people, more comfortable with approaching their local police," said NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Joe Cassar.

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Not that the Civic Type R needed much help in the road-presence department, with its aggressive design and giant rear wing. It also has the capacity to pursue most vehicles, should the local constabulary decide to use it for more than community relations.

"The Civic Type R has been engineered from the ground up to deliver the most rewarding driving experience in the hot hatch segment," said Honda Australia director Stephen Collins. "It has proven to be immensely popular with customers, enthusiasts and the motoring media, so we're positive the NSW Police Force will find it to be a great community engagement tool."