Finally, we have all the details on the new Civic Type R... almost.
When Honda revealed the 2023 Civic Type R last month, it was a bit of a letdown. It wasn't because the Type R didn't deliver on all the visual excitement we were expecting, but rather that Honda didn't really tell us any of the juicy details. Well, that's now been rectified, as the US specification has been confirmed. You've waited long enough for it, so we'll dive right in.
The 2023 Honda Civic Type R is a front-wheel-drive hot hatch powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Power outputs have now been confirmed at 315 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 310 lb-ft of torque at 2,600-4,000 rpm, representing increases of nine hp and 15 lb-ft compared to the outgoing variant. For the real car nerds, that gives the Type R a specific output of 157.8 hp/liter.
The engine, dubbed the K20C1, receives a redesigned turbo with a higher intake flow rate and a new exhaust system to achieve the increased outputs. The turbo's turbine wheel blades have been reshaped and the number of blades adjusted to improve airflow and generate more boost (a maximum of 23.3 psi) over a wider range.
Drive is sent to the front axle through a six-speed manual gearbox, with a lighter flywheel, revised rev-matching, and a helical-type limited-slip differential to help put the power down effectively. Already one of the best shifters around, a new high-rigidity lever stiffens things up further to improve shift quality.
The suspension is equally as impressive, utilizing dual-axis strut front and multilink rear setups to enhance the car's handling and stability. Housed within 19-inch matte black alloy wheels - which are shod in sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires - are two-piece front brake rotors up front measuring 13.8 inches, while the rear items are 12-inch solid discs. The front calipers are Brembo four-piston aluminum items. The design of the wheels features a "reverse rim" design which is said to improve the tire contact patch under load.
Combined, all of these upgrades enabled the new Type R to set a lap record for production front-wheel-drive cars at Japan's legendary Suzuka Circuit. Honda hasn't told us how quickly the Civic Type R will accelerate from 0-60 mph, nor how quickly it laps the Nurburgring; however, we do know it will reach a top speed of 170 mph.
Enhancements have been made all around, using the 11th-generation Civic platform as a springboard to do so. The 107.7-inch wheelbase is 1.4 inches longer than before, the overall length has been extended by 0.8 inches, and the body is half an inch lower and six-tenths of an inch wider, the latter element thanks to fender flares that account for the widened track (one inch up front and 0.75 inches at the rear).
Visually, everything forward of the A-Pillar is unique to the Type R, including the front bumper and the sleek hood scoop. At the rear, the stanchion rear wing and triple exhaust outlets are the attention-grabbers, but the rear bumper is unique too, housing a functional rear diffuser.
Five paint colors will be available for the Type R. Championship White is the signature hue, joined by Rallye Red, Boost Blue, Crystal Black Pearl, and Sonic Grey Pearl. Of those, only Rallye Red and Crystal Black are no-cost options.
Inside the cabin, signature red upholstery on the front seats (black in the back) may be a little garish for some but suits the boy-racer personality of the Type R. Those seats sit lower than before, too, but Honda claims they provide better visibility thanks to the adjusted proportions of the 11th-gen Civic platform. Retaining the standard Civic's practicality, the trunk boasts 24.5 cubic feet of storage capacity, which can be expanded courtesy of 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks.
Ahead of the driver, a digital instrumentation cluster has various displays based on your driving mode, including the model-specific +R mode display that showcases engine speed and the current gear prominently when you're driving hastily. That's precisely when you'll want the updated Honda LogR Performance Datalogger, which uses the onboard computer, sensors, and a built-in vehicle app to track lap times, G-forces, and other performance parameters.
A nine-inch touchscreen boasts wireless CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless device charging, and a Bose Centerpoint sound system with 12 speakers.
So how much will you pay for all this? Well, we don't know because Honda hasn't published pricing information just yet. The automaker says it will do so closer to the official US launch of the vehicle this fall.
While the Civic Type R is manufactured solely at the Yorii Plant in Japan, it's interesting to note the engine is assembled here in the US at Honda's Anna Engine Plant in Sidney, Ohio, the same facility responsible for the engine in the Acura NSX supercar. That means for US buyers, their engine will travel from the US to Japan and back again before it even lands in your driveway.