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The Honda Civic Type R is a high performance version of the Honda Civic.

1st generation (EK9 chassis)

The EK9 Civic Type R was preceded by two previous generations of unofficial Type R's - the EF9 SiR I and EG6 SiR II. The EF9 was the first Civic to feature the 'Racing' moniker, in the form of the top of the line SiR trim, featuring racing technology available in a production car. The first Civic to officially receive the Type R badge was introduced in 1997 as the EK9. As a hatchback which continued the 'R' philosophy from the 2 previous SiRs, the EK9 shared many characteristics with the Integra Type R DC2 such as omission of sound deadening and other weight-reduction measures, a hand-ported B16B engine, front helical limited-slip differential and close ratio gearbox etc. The B16B engine boasted one of the highest power output per litre of all time for an NA engine with from a 1.6L. For the first time, a strategically seam welded monocoque chassis was used to improve chassis rigidity. The interior featured red Recaro seats, a titanium shift knob and a Momo steering wheel. In 1999 the Type Rx was introduced featuring a CD player, body colored retractable electric door mirrors, power windows, auto air conditioning, keyless entry unlock system, aluminum sports pedals, and a carbon type center panel. The SiR badge from the previous 2 generations was ceded to the EK4 Civic as a mainstream sedan and hatchback which was sold in huge numbers across the globe due to its relatively low cost, practicality and everyday usable street performance/driveability.

2nd generation (EP3 chassis)

In 2001 Honda introduced the next generation of the Civic Type R (EP3) as a unique 3 door hatchback to the UK market, which was manufactured in Swindon, England. This EDM (European Domestic Market) Civic Type R featured a 2.0L i-VTEC engine (K20A2) and the regular Type R treatment of seam welding, close ratio 6-speed transmission and uprated brakes, but did not include some of the other higher-end features, such as the helical LSD and red Recaro race-seats, that were standard in the previous generation EK9. However, Honda Japan still developed a JDM (Japanese domestic market) version of the EP3 (which was also manufactured in Swindon, but shipped to Japan for finishing touches), which retained the highly renowned helical LSD similar to that of the EK9 and red Recaro race-seats. Other differences included a more track-oriented chassis/undercarriage settings as compared to the EDM, as well as a i-VTEC engine (K20A) with different intake manifold,exhaust,camshafts and ECU programming. The JDM EP3 was also available in the traditional Type R championship white while the EDM was not. The EDM has more relaxed gear ratios and some high rpm horse power traded for low rpm torque compared to the JDM .

The EDM EP3 Civic Type R was much acclaimed by motoring journalists across the UK, winning 'Hot Hatch of the Year' awards more than once from Top Gear, Fifth Gear and What Car?. The Civic Type R became a popular alternative for mainstream drivers clocking huge sales numbers. The 2001 release of this CTR (Civic Type R), as it is commonly referred to, also indicated Honda's return to Formula One after almost 10 years as an engine supplier to the Jordan and BAR teams - this eventually led to the full-fledged comeback as a dedicated F1 works team in 2005 with Honda gaining full ownership of British American Racing.

2004 saw this successful CTR updated with many improvements - revised EPS with quicker steering, revised suspension settings, projector headlamps (JDM=HID, EDM=halogen), lighter clutch and flywheel assembly etc; based on Honda literature, this facelifted (FL) model was targeted at addressing customers' and critics' feedback such as understeer on the limit (due to the front Macpherson strut setup), numb steering response and lack of low end torque.

Performance (all figures are manufacturer claims)

0-60 mph in 6.4/6.4 seconds (JDM/EDM pre-FL), 6.2/6.4 secs (JDM/EDM FL) 0-100 mph in 15.1/16 secs (JDM/EDM FL)Top speed and (JDM/EDM both)

30th Anniversary Special Edition

In 2003 Honda decided to celebrate 30 years of producing the Civic by offering a special edition 30th Anniversary Type-R for the EDM. The special edition features special red sports seats from world renowned seat maker Recaro, air conditioning, leather MOMO steering wheel, red carpets and door linings and privacy glass on the rear windows. 30th Anniversary models were available in Nighthawk Black, Satin Silver and Milano Red. Only 300 of these models were produced, 100 in each of the 3 colours.

Premier Special Edition

In 2005 Honda introduced the Premier edition which had new red Recaro seats (these were different to the seats in the Anniversary Edition), Momo Steering Wheel, Red Carpet, "Type R" embossed into the front brake calipers and privacy glass on the rear windows. These were available in Milano Red, Nighthawk Black, Cosmic Grey and Satin Silver.

3rd generation (FD2 & FN2 chassis)

The current generation Civic Type R is offered in two distinct forms: one for the European market and one for the Japanese domestic market, matching the availability of their regular 8th gen. counterpart.

FD2 chassis (Japanese version)

The Japanese market Civic Type R (FD2) went on sale on March 30, 2007. For the first time, the JDM Civic was sold as a four door sedan rather than a three door hatchback. Using the Japanese market four-door sedan as a base model meaning the new Type R is now bigger, wider and heavier. More importantly, the wheelbase has grown from to , giving the FD2R a more stable stance in high speed cornering. The new Japanese model's engine output is higher than the European version's, with being developed at 8,400 rpm and of torque peaking at 6,100 rpm (versus at 7,800 rpm and at 5,600 rpm for the European model). The base engine itself is borrowed from the Accord Euro R CL7 with its longer intake manifold. Changes have been made to the block in terms of mounting points for ancillary parts making it different from previous K20A. New technology such as Drive By Wire throttle and porting of the intake valve ports using techniques from the NSX are implemented. Honda says mid-range torque is increased by . Drive is fed through a close ratio six speed gearbox, and a helical limited slip differential is fitted as standard. The front brake discs increased from the DC5R's to are fitted with four pot Brembo calipers. Tire size are now 225/40 R18 Bridgestone Potenza RE070.

Honda claims the body is 50% more rigid than the previous Japan-only DC5 Integra Type R, and the new model features an independent rear suspension rather than the torsion beam configuration used on the latest European Civic Type-R. To save weight, aluminum is used extensively and bonded with adhesive instead of welded.

Exterior wise, the front bumper is different from the standard Civic designed aerodynamically. The rear bumper features a diffuser built into the bumper and completing the aero package with a huge rear wing. Inside, the trademark black and red bucket seats are no longer made by Recaro as with previous versions, but designed in house by Honda. Also gone is the Momo made steering wheel, instead replaced by a Honda made version. The familiar red-on-black colour scheme or black-on-black scheme is offered on the Championship White version and Super Platinum Metallic Silver versions while a black-on-black scheme with red stitching is for the Vivid Blue Pearl only.

In October 2008, the Civic received a minor face lift. The standard and hybrid versions now had the same front bumper as the Type R while a redesigned tail lamps changes the round insets into octagons. The Type R also received new available colours, with Premium White Pearl, Premium Deep Violet Pearl and Crystal Black Pearl being added and Vivid Blue Pearl being dropped.

In back to back tests the FD2 Type-R was on average 10 seconds quicker than the (DC5) Integra Type-R at the Tsukuba Circuitmarker and four seconds faster at Suzukamarker.

In a back to back test on the United Kingdom TV program 5th Gear, the FD2 Type-R was three seconds quicker than the equivilient FN2 UK version around Castle Combe Circuit in the wet.

The FD2 Civic Type R was officially launched in the Malaysian market on August the 2nd 2007. It was the first time that any Type R JDM model was launched outside of Japan.

Civic Mugen RR (Honda ABA-FD2)

In addition to Civic Type R, 300 Honda Civic Mugen RR cars in red only had also been produced for Japanese market, which reduced weight to using CFRP bumpers and aluminum for the bonnet. The engine is rated at 8,000 rpm and torque at 7,000 rpm achieved through Mugen parts such as camshafts, exhaust system and ECU. Other exclusive items that make this a collectors item are Recaro SP-X seats and other Mugen items inside while special Mugen wheels equipped as standard. This version cost 4,777,500 yen (4,550,000+tax) ($38,750 USD).

Mugen also debuted Civic Type-RR Experimental Spec concept car in Tokyo Auto Salon, which features 2157 cc K20A engine rated and of torque. Weight is further reduced using aluminum hood ( ), as well as the new titanium exhaust system ( ). Interior was replaced with more carbon fibre parts. The car also features Intelligent-Tire Condition Monitoring System (i-TCMS) and Recaro seats.

The concept was later called Honda Civic Mugen RR Advanced Concept during 2009 Tokyo Auto Salon, which has the weight of . Brake disc was increased to diameter ( in Type R/RR).

Civic Mugen RC (2008-)

A race version called Honda Civic Mugen RC has also been produced, designed for the 2008 Honda Exciting Cup Civic One-Make Race-Civic Series. The engine is the stock K20A engine from FD2 Honda Civic Type R. It comes with following models:
  • BASIC: 6,247,500 yen (5,950,000+tax).
  • STANDARD: 7,192,500 yen (6,850,000+tax). It adds racing wheel package (Mugen RC 18 inch wheel with Yokohama tire), brake package (front+rear brake pads), seat and steering (Recaro bucket seat, seat rail, steering wheel with box, TAKATA harness), carbon inner part option A (carbon fibre right floor cover panel, footrest, door lining) over BASIC.
  • COMPLETE: 7,822,500 yen (7,450,000+tax). It adds carbon inner part option B (carbon fibre console box, left floor cover panel, centre pillar cover), engine package (engine rebalancing and calibration)
Civic Mucen RC was built in Mugen's M-TEC factory.

FN2 chassis (European version)

The European market Civic Type R is offered only as a three door hatch back and uses a different chassis and internal layout (notably tank placement below the driver's seat), which will serve as base for the next European Jazz. The rear suspension formerly a double wishbone set up has been changed to a less complex torsion beam axle. The drive train is largely the same as the out going model offering at 7,500 rpm and of torque at 5,600 rpm. It runs on 225/40 R18 Y88 Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tyres, while optional 19" Rage alloys run on Yokohama Advan Sport 225/35 ZR19 88Y tyres. The car has a curb weight of .

Versions

Type R GT includes, dual zone climate control (Left:right independent), rain sensing windscreen wipers, refrigerated glove box, automatic headlights with dusk sensor, front fog lights, power folding door mirrors, cruise control, front and rear curtain airbags and is finished in the same three colours as the standard FN2. As often, names and trims vary even within domain markets down to local ones, and a Heritage version replaces GT version in some of them, adding Xenon/HID lights to the mix. The topping Heritage Navi version adds Bluetooth telephone system and voice recognition DVD satellite navigation. A more radical version dubbed Race differs from the Heritage by removing components (incl. HID, AC, fog lights, audio system, sound proofing, some airbags) to reduce weight as much as . Finally, together with the 2009 revision to all 8th gen. EDM Civic variants (adding for example a USB iPod-compatible plug to the audio system), a special edition called Championship White comes in the eponyme Honda color, with the same alloys only with matching white color, 18" wheels (19" white Rage optional). This edition adds an exclusive limited slip differential to a Heritage trim level, which Honda touted at Paris Motor Show as helping the car shave off more than a second to its undisclosed Tsukuba lap time.

Reception

Top Gear Magazine awarded the European Civic Type R its 'Hot Hatch of 2007', praising the car's controls and comparing it favourably as a driver's car to its rivals, the Stig qualifying it as 'an utter gem'.The car has met with criticism from Evo Magazine, however, who complained that it falls short dynamically when compared to rivals like the European market Ford Focus ST, Mini Cooper S and Volkswagen Golf GTi particularly in the areas of steering and chassis balance, although the magazine has praised the improved steering feel and more evenly distributed torque of the FN2 compared to the previous EDM EP3.

External links



References

  1. PistonHeads Headlines
  2. Meaden, Richard (September 2007), "Honda Civic Type R", evo:
  3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54W0TgJGgoE, Vicki Butler-Henderson
  4. Officially Official: Japan gets Honda Civic Mugen RR
  5. 2008 Tokyo Auto Salon: Mugen Type-RR Experimental Spec
  6. Mugen Rolls Out Trio Of Hard-Tuned Hondas At Tokyo Auto Salon
  7. Honda Civic Mugen RR Advanced Concept
  8. Honda Civic Type R ‘One Make Race’ Versions
  9. Honda CIVIC MUGEN RC
  10. 埼玉工廠直擊 Honda Civic 【MUGEN無限RC】上
  11. Top Gear Magazine (URL last checked August 15 2008); Top Gear Magazine Feb '08 Issue
  12. Top Gear Magazine (URL last checked August 15 2008); Top Gear
  13. Evo Magazine, March 2007 issue, pp103-117
  14. Evo Magazine; monthly 'The Knowledge' section



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