carwow’s driven the all-new 2015 Honda Civic Type R on road and track in Slovakia. Here’s what it’s going to mean for UK buyers – and why the critics think it’s one of the best hot hatches on sale.
Officially the fastest hot hatch
The new Civic Type R explodes from 0-60mph in just 5.7 seconds. OK, the VW Golf R is quicker, but that has four-wheel drive instead of the Civic’s two-wheel drive setup. The Civic Type R has been designed in Honda’s F1 wind tunnel to help it fly past other hot hatchbacks on to a top speed of 167mph.
Honda’s proved this point beyond contention by taking the Nurburgring lap record for front-wheel drive production cars at 7:50.63. That’s faster than Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches of just a few years ago – a remarkable achievement.
We had the chance to take the Civic Type R around the Slovakiaring race track and it was immediately clear the Type R lives up to Honda’s ‘race car for the road’ hype. In +R mode the suspension stiffens by 30%, giving it an even faster turn-in – you just turn the steering wheel and the car darts towards the corner.
Those adaptive dampers also mean the ride isn’t always rock-solid like in the previous Type R. Out on the road, you’re always aware you’re in a sporty car as you go over bumps and lumps in the road, but you’re never jarred by them.
Designed with downforce in mind
Honda brags that the new Type R has the highest downforce levels of any hot hatch – the force of air pushing the car into the road surface. The large rear wing and front splitter help stick the car into the road through fast corners to keep it pointing the way you want.
Usually, sticking a wing on a car reduces its top speed but Honda’s clever aerodynamics geeks have found a way around that – meaning you can corner harder and still have a high top speed. It’s a shame Jenson Button’s F1 car doesn’t have the same deftness of handling.
The real-world stuff is just as impressive as its engineering
The new Type R is supposedly ‘Boris-proof’ – meaning it won’t be exiled from London’s congestion charge zone when the rules are tightened in the wake of Euro 6. It also has a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating, and you can get a five-year servicing plan for £500.
All this lets you save more money for fuel – although, its claimed 38.7mpg fuel efficiency is quite good for such a fast car.
You can buy one for £299 per month!
The new Civic Type R can cost from as little as £299 per month if you take out Honda’s PCP deal – some families spend that each month on takeaways! When you consider the amount of performance on offer, it’s something of a bargain. You’ll just have to pick whether you want it in black, grey, red, white or blue…
Pop the Honda Civic Type R in our car configurator to see how much money carwow could help you save. For more information, read our full Civic Type R review or, for more options, head over to our deals page.