Skip to content

2023 Honda Civic Type R first look and fast lap | PistonHeads

  • by

Don’t let its slightly more sedate looks fool you, the new FL5 is here to give rivals like the VW Golf R a seriously hard time.

We’ve come to italy to see a very special car in the metal for the first time is of course the new honda civic type r more specifically it’s the brand new fl5 generation and evidently it’s a lot more mature than before it’s a lot sleeker and a lot calmer but don’t let that fool you into thinking the ctr has gone soft this is meant to be the fastest most aggressive

Honda civic type r that has ever been made now today i’m not actually allowed to drive it but i’m going to run you through all the key features and go out on a passenger lap to at least get a little bit of a taste of what the new car is like i’m ken tate and this is piston heads remember to head over to to research and buy your next car the old car

Was a very divisive look indeed a lot of people thought it was over designed and just a little bit too garish this new car has also proved to be a little bit divisive but almost on the other way around people think that it almost looks a little bit too boring but when you actually see it in the metal there’s a lot to love now first up i want to talk about the old

Car’s front bumper which was very complicated and a little bit on the messy side and clearly here it’s a lot sleeker but that’s all for good reason the old car had a lot of fake vents but everything that you see here on the civic type r is purposeful for instance we’ve got this little grille down the front here which actually channels air into the intercooler and

Then out the top here of the bonnet we also have little inlets down the side here and those are to call the brakes that’s something that honda has really focused on the civic type r is to really improve the cooling so basically you can go lap after lap without overheating the brakes or the tyres also notice the extra lip down the side here of the car that shows

You just how much wider the civic type r is compared to the standard car it doesn’t always show up in championship white but it’s when you’re here in person you can see that it is just a little bit wider although i don’t have an official number for that just yet what i do know however is that the front wheels are actually 20 millimeters wider than the car before

Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that the car is 20 millimeters wider but you have a larger contact patch at the front of the car the diameter of the rim is also a little bit smaller the old car was a 20 inch wheel we now have 19s on here that’s designed to make the car just a little bit lighter improve inertia and also i’m hoping improved comfort too crucially

Though this is a big big addition although it seems quite small the old car came with michelin pilot sport 4 tyres we now have pilot sport 4s’s they are much stickier and trust me out on track they make a big difference moving further around we have a vent down the side here again that’s all just to improve cooling it’s a lot more subtle than the old fk8 civic

Type r which had a very large bolted on assembly right here i believe that was non-functioning but again on here it’s all designed to channel air and reduce air pressure from the front wheel arch to reduce drag now we do have a side skirt running down here again apparently it has some minor aerodynamic benefit but this little fin here is designed to channel air

Around the rear wheels again all in the name of reducing drag changes at the back are plentiful as well the thing that really stands out apart from this thing i’ll go over that in the moment is we’ve got a much wider diffuser now yes allegedly it does generate downforce but what’s interesting here is it actually forms part of the undertray to just help scoop out

Air from underneath the car and again reduce drag the rear wing as well is very different the old car had this rather ugly in my view anyway plasticky one piece spoiler whereas now it’s a multi-piece design and it’s functional too so we actually have aluminium struts either side of the wing not only are they lighter but they actually reduce the contact patch of the

Underside of the wing and apparently this is the big downforce generator the underside of it so the only number i have so far is that it generates 92 kilograms of downforce at 200 kilometers an hour over the regular civic but still it just reinforces that idea that this car is much more function over form over the previous car honda is being super cagey about the

Performance specs and it seems we won’t know the full details for a while yet the engine is the familiar two-liter turbocharged vtec motor which in the old fk8 developed 320 horsepower improvements include a two-piece water jacket for calling the engine more blades inside the turbocharger to reduce inertia and a lightweight crankshaft word on the street is the fl5

Produces considerably more power but whether that’s 5 horsepower or 50 horsepower we just don’t know yet and as soon as we do i’ll jump in the comments to let you know yes there are a lot of small refinements when it comes to the performance upgrades on this car but i think the biggest standout difference between this and the old car is the interior design and

The interior quality it is a vast upgrade on the old car not only is it a lot more simple but everything just feels like it’s built a little bit better it’s much nicer on the eyes and if anything i just kind of think it reinforces that traditional civic type r look we’ve got upgraded sport seats in here that should hug you a little bit tighter when you’re hammering it

Around on a race track and there’s a lot of red as well the seats are now entirely red as are the carpets which is very ek9 civic type r i also love the type r badge on the dashboard it is a tiny touch but it shows the build number of your car and it makes what is ultimately a high production car feel just that little bit more special now something that previous type

R owners were calling for was a customizable driver mode because there was nothing more frustrating than wanting to open up the exhaust but you then had to suffer a much stiffer ride well now you can do so by holding up on the driver mode selector and then you have lots of different options that you can go to so we can change the engine settings steering suspension

Engine sound even the rev matching which has been slightly upgraded over the previous one as well not that it really felt like it needed upgrading but it just shows you you can really customize the civic type of the way you want it to be granted i don’t think this system is nearly as good as what you get on hyundai’s n it just looks a little bit better if you’re

In something like an i30n but it’s a massive step up over the old car another interesting thing as well is the dashboard is completely digital now when you’re running in the standard mode you actually just have two conventional digital dials but if you put it in plus r which is everything in its most hardcore setting then you actually get an old f1 style digital

Readout for your taco it’s small things like that and some people may struggle with the move over to a fully digital system but personally i’m all for it and just makes this new civic type r feel like this lovely hybrid of thai pars of old and looking towards the future right enough of the details time to see what the civic type r is like from the passenger seat i

Mean i’d much rather be driving the thing but if there’s anyone who can show me what the ctr is capable of it’s wtcr driver and f1 podium finisher thiago montero that is okay so thiago was pointing out that the most noticeable difference that he’s found in this new civic is under-breaking now being a passenger particularly when you’ve got a racing driver next

To you it really amplifies all the sensations from the passenger seat that you would really experience in the driver’s seat but this is noticeably incredible under braking like at least from the passenger seat quite light and very very very responsive under braking and what they were explaining about the steering wheel you know i cannot explain but the feeling

Is so nice when you exit the corner you don’t have to really force it the steering just smoothly going down more intuitive yeah so another improvement that he’s saying is the steering has also been reworked it feels just a little bit more intuitive so you don’t feel like you’re applying a lot of lock to correct any understeer being a front-wheel drive car so it

Just behaves a bit more naturally and i’m kind of feeling that again a little bit from the passenger seat another aspect that i’m really getting is we’ve got the new michelin pilot sport 4s tyres they are doing a lot of work a good set of really tyres the performance of a car particularly and the grip is just insane i can’t believe that a honda civic this is

That fast and that’s grief is great it’s just so unbelievably sticky we’ve got a really fast left right chicane on this circuit which we’ve been through earlier and i could not believe just how planted this car is very very very quick thank you man wow what what an experience it’s uh when you think it’s a real legal car that’s fast and at that price i mean it’s

So i mean you can have so much fun can i change gear yeah what are we gonna get a bit of speed yeah so i’m gonna change gear into third oh it’s a beautiful shifter that’s the closest i can get to driving it today second again second ah third it’s very short isn’t it i mean it’s quite it’s a very short throw the last one was uh pretty much similar to be honest

But so direct so precise yes i mean even though when you you saw you have you’re jumping yeah and you’re turning so i’m a bit like and it’s easy to find so yeah it’s it’s such a short throw again it is kind of a little bit like the the old ctr in the in the way it responded but that’s a good thing you had one of the best shifters out there uh thiago thank you

So much man i really appreciate that you’re a legend very much appreciated hope you enjoyed it it’s hard to really feel what it’s like from the passenger seat but as thiago had pointed out to me in the car the car definitely feels a lot stronger under braking in a way i’ve just not felt from a hatchback before yes it’s also stiffer and it’s got more downforce but

One of the elements that really sticks out is the much stickier tires those michelin pilot sport 4s’s just transform the car and make it feel so much more suited to the track it behaves in a way i simply wasn’t expecting but that’s about all i can say at the moment i just need to get in and drive the car so come on honda give me an invite i’m desperate to get behind

The wheel and if you want to watch our review of course make sure you hit the subscribe button because we’ll be the first to have it right here at pistonheads you

Transcribed from video
2023 Honda Civic Type R first look and fast lap | PistonHeads By PistonHeads