The return of Honda’s iconic Type R nameplate to the Australian market is now complete, after the all-new Honda Civic Type R was crowned MOTOR’s Performance Car of the Year for 2018 at an awards ceremony in Melbourne last night.

MOTOR magazine credited the Honda Civic Type R with its annual Performance Car award ahead of an all-star line-up of vehicles, including the best new performance cars from Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea and Australia.

The Civic Type R beat home the latest and greatest performance car heroes from Audi, BMW, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche, to be the first Honda vehicle ever to win the award and only the third Japanese-brand vehicle to claim the top prize in PCOTY’s 22-year history.

Honda’s Civic Type R hot hatch was not only the most affordable and attainable of the 10 cars in the running for MOTOR’s PCOTY award in 2018, but it took out the title against vehicles of established pedigree costing as much as six times its price.

It is also the first front-wheel-drive car to have taken out the award.

"Honda is renowned for pushing the boundaries of engineering and technology, and this award for the Civic Type R is a resounding endorsement from MOTOR magazine that confirms Honda has created a truly special performance car," said Honda Australia Director, Mr. Stephen Collins. The Civic Type R also confirmed its status as the halo for the Civic hatch and sedan range, he said.

"The all-new Civic Type R showcases the very best that Honda can produce in a front-wheel-drive performance car and it is the ultimate expression of the Civic nameplate.

"It has been engineered from the ground up to deliver the most rewarding driving experience in the hot hatch segment – both on road and on the race track – and the judges of MOTOR’s Performance Car of the Year clearly agree."

"A big part of the genius of the Civic Type R is in how beautifully it combines performance with liveability."

"The front end is the best we’ve ever sampled in a hot hatch with precise, feelsome, well-judged steering largely uncorrupted by torque steer – an achievement given how much work the front axle is doing."

"This is a hugely fun and satisfying car to drive fast."

"…the Civic Type R is our winner because it excels not just at Performance but also the Car element of Performance Car of the Year."

"It’s a surprise packet. It’s an engineering achievement. It’s the Performance Car of the Year, and the performance Honda of the decade."

The new Civic Type R retains the heritage of Honda’s high performance hatchback bloodline, combining expertly tuned front-wheel drive chassis dynamics with aggressive design and precision aerodynamics.

It offers an unrivalled combination of everyday useability and track-honed dynamism that has now been recognised as the best new performance car available in Australia.

The judges’ praise for the Civic Type R was unanimous, with all five experts ranking it in 1st place on their scorecards and some of their comments backed up the universal ranking:

"Just wow. Phenomenal on road and track. It’s made me fall in love with driving again." – Tim Robson

"Great balance, brakes, steering, gearbox and torque. Unreal fun!– David Reynolds

Celebrating 25 years of the famed Type R badge, the fifth-generation Civic Type R is available in a single feature-packed specification, offering a compelling mix of performance and equipment, priced at $50,990*.

Standard equipment for Australia includes a four-wheel adaptive damper system with three driving modes,

Brembo brake package, 20-inch alloy wheels, the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assist technologies, plus class-leading interior space.

* Manufacturer’s List Price (MLP) excludes Dealer Delivery and statutory charges. Premium/Metallic/Pearlescent paint is $575.