Honda Civic Type R 2021 Review
It’s a bit difficult to talk about the Honda Civic Type R in 2021, given that it’s effectively no longer in production or technically on sale (there may be the odd unit lurking at a dealer if you know where to go). But it is a model that is incredibly important for the brand and worth exploring, especially when you understand what it means to the Malaysian market and the history of the Type R badge in Malaysia.
Type R traditionally represents the most extreme and performance focused models among the Honda range. For those who remember the Honda NSX, there was a Type R variant that is the most potent and sought-after model, commanding insane prices at auctions. The name itself was first introduced with that aforementioned NSX, eventually being attached to high performance variants of the Honda Integra and Honda Civic as well.
In a technical sense, the Honda Civic has had multiple generations of Type R variants – but they weren’t necessarily offered around the world. The first generation was with the Honda Civic EK in the late 1990s which was really just limited to the Japanese market. The second Civic Type R was specific to just the UK and Japanese markets in the form of the Honda Civic EP3 – a three door hatchback that we never saw locally.
Arguably it is the next generation of the Honda Civic Type R that really made waves in Malaysia: the Honda Civic FD2R. Its sister car, the Civic FN2R hatchback, didn’t quite have the same appeal that it did, but the FD2R has proven itself time and time again both on the road and the racetrack, as well as on the auction blocks.
Between then and the Honda Civic FK8R that you see today, there was another model – the Honda Civic FK2R – which was also the first Honda product to come with the turbocharged 2.0-litre K20C1 that powers the current Type R. Much like the EP3 generation, the FK2R was mostly sold within Europe and Japan.
This is also something to note with the current generation Type R – the most special aspect of it is the fact that it is the first Civic Type R to be offered globally. All around the world, driving enthusiasts welcomed the most potent Honda product with open arms – especially since the Honda NSX was seeing such limited sales around the world.
Honda Civic Type R 2021 Specifications
As mentioned earlier, this generation of the Honda Civic Type R is powered by the K20C1 – a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine based on the same legendary engine architecture used by the EP3 and FD2R of old. This base engine was known for its impeccable reliability and performance, as well as incredibly ability to flow air that allowed it to generate large amounts of power even without forced induction.
In this application with a turbocharger, those characteristics translate well with an engine that responds quickly to your inputs and builds power linearly and predictably. Off the bat, the performance figures are a hefty 310 PS and 400 Nm of torque, with that torque being available between 2,500 rpm and 4,500 rpm. This performance is delivered to the front wheels through a six-speed close-ratio manual gearbox.
As is the case with previous generation Honda Civic Type Rs, the FK8R also gets a helical-type limited slip differential to help find traction coming out of corners. There have been a couple of updates in other markets since, but the Malaysian market variant hasn’t received much on this end. There is auto-rev matching by default, but you can turn this function off if you prefer to heel-toe downshift by yourself.
The chassis on which this Civic Type R is based is the same as the Honda Civic hatchback, which is sold in Thailand but isn’t available here. Despite this, the geometry and suspension design has been severely reworked to optimize mechanical grip and handling characteristics, which is what allowed this Civic Type R to take a coveted front-wheel drive Nurburgring Nordschleife track record for a time.
Honda Civic Type R 2021 Exterior
Loud is perhaps the best way to describe the Honda Civic Type R’s exterior, with all of its aggressive bits that set it apart from a regular Honda Civic. The triple exhaust tips at the rear, the massive diffuser and rear wing, and the 20-inch wheels at each corner all help to drive home this point. Being a hatchback as opposed to the regular sedan bodystyle also helps to set the Honda Civic Type R apart from the regular Civic variants.
Honda Civic Type R 2021 Interior
On the inside of the Honda Civic Type R, things are a mix between aggressive and sporty, and more practical and liveable. There are red accents and emblems and stitching, and the instrument cluster is especially sharp looking, but on the whole it doesn’t feel all too different from your typical German hot hatchback in terms of execution. The red bucket seats are a nice touch, being a clever balance between support and comfort on longer journeys.
Honda Civic Type R 2021 Safety Features
There isn’t much in the way of advanced driver assistance systems when it comes to the Honda Civic Type R, although to be fair integration with a manual gearbox hasn’t been the easiest task for these systems. That being said, you get very adapt electronic stability and traction control systems that will help keep your car headed in the right direction, as well as usual items like ABS with brake assist, hill-start assist, and so on.
Honda Civic Type R 2021 Strengths & Weakness
One of the toughest things to deal with when it comes to the Honda Civic Type R is the fact that it looks so extreme, with the aggressive front and rear bumpers, diffusers, and giant wing on the rear. That being said, it is a bit of the identity of the Civic Type R, and an important way to differentiate it from regular mass-market Honda Civics. It’s not quite the same as how German manufacturers differentiate their top-tier performance models, but these cars truly are different.
In terms of performance, the Honda Civic Type R is definitely potent although it isn’t the most powerful or quickest thing on the market. What is surprising about it, ironically, is that despite those large 20-inch wheels it manages to have a surprisingly comfortable and supple ride quality. The adaptive suspension can really soak up bumps and undulations in the roadway on your journey, and stiffen up enough to cut body roll and improve chassis response when you’re on the attack.
Honda Civic Type R 2021 Price
When this generation of the Honda Civic Type R was launched locally, it was put out at a price of RM 320,000 – on the road, without insurance, and as a fully imported product. This figure was somewhat dynamic as dealers offered price reductions over the years – it has been over four years since the launch of this model locally. As of now, Honda Malaysia has removed pricing for this car from its site and production has ended, but there is the off chance you may find unsold units somewhere in the country.
Honda Civic Type R 2021 Features
One of the more standout features of the Honda Civic Type R is its adaptive dampers and suspension setup that gives it a range of handling characteristics, from compliance to aggression. There are also items like Agile Handling Assist which function in the same way torque vectoring systems do, braking the inner wheel in a corner for slightly better turn in and control. Beyond this, the infotainment system and climate control functionality mirror that of the regular Honda Civic.
Honda Civic Type R 2021 Fuel Consumption
There are no manufacturer quoted fuel consumption figures for this Honda Civic Type R, but being the performance car that it is you can expect it to be quite thirsty when you’re driving spiritedly. Homologation for our market means it can run on RON95 grade fuel without issue, though putting higher grade RON fuels like 97 or 100 won’t yield higher power outputs.
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- Body Type: Hatchback
- Transmission: Manual
- Engine Capacity: 1996 cc
- Fuel Type: petrol
- Seat Capacity: 4
- Price: RM 330,002
User Review of Honda Civic Type R