Is The Honda Civic Type R More Powerful Than We Thought?

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A dyno reading claims the Civic Type R has a surprisingly low drivetrain loss.

For the first time since it launched 20 years ago, the Honda Civic Type R is finally being sold in the US, and that's a cause for celebration. Despite only having front-wheel drive, the heavenly hot hatch is a worthy rival to the Focus RS, packing a 2.0 turbocharged engine that produces 306 horsepower. After going on sale last week (beware of dubious dealer markup prices), it didn't take long for owners to put Honda's performance claims to the test and rig the Type R up to a dyno – and the results suggest that Honda's hottest hatch is more powerful than we thought.

Puerto Rico-based shop Dyno Center hooked up two Honda Civic Type Rs to their dyno. A graph and video posted on the company's Facebook page show that one of the tested models generated 295 horsepower at the wheels, representing a drivetrain loss of four percent. The more powerful model was rated at an even more impressive 301-wheel horsepower, which equates to a loss of only two percent, and generated 292 lb-ft of torque. It's worth bearing in mind that automakers quote horsepower figures directly from the engine which doesn't account for power losses from the engine to the wheels. Dyno figures are measured from the wheels to give a more accurate power reading.

Typically, a front-wheel drive performance car would have a drivetrain loss of around 10 – 15 percent, yet the Type R makes nearly as much wheel horsepower as Honda's quoted flywheel power figure which is very impressive. Type R owners should be rejoicing, as this means the hot hatch is potentially more powerful than the automaker advertised. There's more good news for fans of Honda's hot hatch too, as new variants of the Civic Type R could be on the way including a more powerful hardcore version, an all-wheel drive model to compete with the Focus RS, Subaru WRX STI and Volkswagen Golf R, and a gentler grand-touring version.

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