Drive.com.au believes this is a golden age for car enthusiasts looking for accessible performance which means the Type R saw off some stiff competition. Here’s why it was wheels and tyres above the rest.
The Civic Type R is one of the purest expressions of our ‘Joy of Moving You’ as any enthusiastic driver will discover as soon as the car is in motion. The controls are precisely weighted and calibrated to work in sync with each other, keeping the car balanced and razor sharp. The powerful brakes inspire confidence and the responsive steering allows the Type R to be placed exactly where the driver wants it.
Special mention went to the Type R’s gearbox which offers tactile, machine-like changes, creating real driver involvement. The polished alloy gearknob for the slick six-speed transmission falls naturally to hand from the driver’s seat.
The Civic Type R is the lightest car in its class and that quickly shines through in its ride and handling. Less weight means the car feels more agile, allowing it to respond to acceleration, braking and direction changes more quickly and making it more engaging for the driver to explore its potential on the track. This is also where the Type R’s electronic front differential lets it put down its power cleanly exiting corner. Away from the track the Type R’s lower weight also means its adaptive suspension can respond more quickly to road surface changes for a smoother ride.
The new Civic Type R is the first in Australia with a turbocharged engine, producing 228kW and 400Nm. Turbocharging provides real punch in the middle of the rev range for effortless overtaking and unstoppable acceleration out of corners. Honda’s legendary VTEC system means the engine is eager to rev all the way to the 7000rpm redline, unlike a lot of forced induction powerplants, and keeping the driver smiling for longer.
The Type R’s aggressive styling is a direct result of hundreds of hours of wind tunnel testing backed up with countless laps of the infamous Nurburgring in Germany, where it holds the lap record for front-wheel drive cars. It is the only car in its class to generate positive downforce, which is created by the reshaped roofline working in tandem with the rear wing.
The Type R uses technology to devastating effect on the track, as proved by its record breaking Nurburgring run, but it’s also well equipped with innovation to make the day-to-day easier as well. Adaptive cruise control, Honda LaneWatch and autonomous emergency braking are particularly helpful and welcome on the daily commute.
7. All-round ability
In the end, it was the Civic Type R’s all-round ability and capability – the Drive team even noted that it has the biggest boot in its class – in addition to its performance and stand-out styling which made it their pick out of some top-drawer rivals.
But don’t just take our word for it, read the full Performance Car of the Year under $60,000 verdict at Drive.com.au.