Every part of the FL5 Type R has been meticulously and lovingly polished to bring out incremental improvements in performance, handling, and overall driveability.
What does all this mean? In simple terms, confidence. As we did, you can jump in the Type R on a damp track and drive the car within a few laps. You will love the muscular response from the 2.0-liter VTEC turbo 4, the smooth shifting of the gearshift, the responsive steering, and the brakes that never quit.
2024 Honda Civic Type-R Review
The Civic Type R is the epitome of a great driver’s car. Its calm, consistent demeanor, under pressure, invites you to explore the edge of the performance envelope. The new Type R is visually very different from the FK8’s manga comic madness.
The five-door Civic hatch’s fundamental design is cleaner and more refined than the FK8. However, Honda engineers spent much time working together with motorsport colleagues to reduce drag and increase downforce. The rear wing, along with the rear diffuser and redesigned bonnet, produces 92kg of downforce when traveling at 200 km/h.
It’s hard to miss the aggressive front and rear fascias. The vents behind the front wheels and the three bazooka-caliber exhausts under the rear bumper are the most noticeable. The car is full of Type R DNA.
The FL5 body is slightly larger in all dimensions, making it the largest Civic Type R. However, in terms of its mission, important dimensional changes over the previous model include a 35mm increase to the wheelbase, a 26mm increase at the front track, a 30mm increase at the rear track, and lowering the driver’s and front passenger’s H-point by 8mm. The new Type R feels more grounded than its predecessor thanks to its longer wheelbase, wider track, and lower center of gravity.
Engine & Specs
The FL5 has a 3.8-fold higher structural adhesive than the FK8 for improved body rigidity, especially at the rear. The elimination of additional steel bracing has resulted in weight savings. The new aluminum bonnet is 33% lighter than the FK8’s steel item and the resin rear hatch is 20% lighter. The new K20C1 four-banger underneath the bonnet produces 235kW at 6500rpm and 420Nm from 2200rpm through 4000rpm. This is an increase of 7kW and 20Nm over the FK8 spec.
These aren’t big bumps but they’re sufficient to propel the Type R comfortably into fifth place for the 0-100km/h sprint. Honda claims that Honda’s time is 5.4 seconds, as opposed to the 6.0 seconds we measured when testing an FK8 Type R in mid-2020.
Tuners know that there is a law of diminishing returns when tweaking engines that are already producing large power and torque. The FK8 engine produced 117kW/liter. The FL5 version was able to improve that number by only three percent by fitting a new turbocharger. It features fewer blades on its impeller to reduce inertia and lag by 14 percent. A new intake and exhaust system has been designed with better flow rates of 10 and 13 percent, respectively. The flywheel has been made 18% lighter to improve engine response and rev-matching, especially on downshifts. This has also reduced the flywheel’s overall inertia by 25%.
Although the FK8’s six-speed manual was already among the best in terms of shift feel, precision, and accuracy, engineers at Honda thought there was more to be done. The FL5 Type R’s Shifter has a stiffer throw and less play and is designed to shift faster between the second and third gears.
Although the suspension design of the new Type R is the same as that of the old model, everything has been modified. The FK8-derived adaptive dampers have a new control logic that allows for pitch and roll control. Dual-axis front suspension helps reduce torque steer. New lower arms provide a 16 percent increase in camber rigidity over the previous generation Type R.
The dimensional changes to the FL5 platform and their impact on suspension geometry as well as improvements in tire technology drove the decision to reduce the size of the FK8 Type R’s 20-inch rims to 19 inches. The Michelins are designed to work their inner edges harder than ever before. Therefore, the 19-inch alloy wheels have a smaller inner diameter inside the rim than on the outside. The new 19 alloy wheels look great from afar.
An upgraded Brembo brake system is hidden behind the wheels. It features a new mechanical brake master Cylinder to increase the tip-in pedal feel. Redesigned brake ducts keep the calipers and rotors cooler. Honda engineers claim that they have seen pad temperatures of 60 degrees Celsius lower than the FK8 after five laps in Suzuka.
The steering column is equipped with bearings that improve rigidity and durability. Additionally, the tie-rod ends are made of high-rigidity materials for an increased steering feel. Upgrades to the electronic power steering software allow for a wider diameter and a 60% more rigid torsion arm to reduce unwanted steering deflections. This improves feedback and response.
The new Type R’s improved Honda Log R 2.0 performance data acquisition application will be a hit with data geeks. It is integrated into the car’s infotainment systems and does not require hosting via a hardwired smartphone. The app also features a Performance Monitor function as well as a Scoring function. Performance Monitor displays 12 different vehicle information, including engine, water, and oil temperatures, steering angle, brake pressure, and accelerator pedal angle. A digital tire friction circle monitor, which displays in real-time the maximum grip potential of each of the four tires, is now available.
Scoring allows Type R drivers the ability to evaluate their driving and improve their skills behind the wheel. The Auto Score function assesses your driving skills in everyday driving situations. While the Data Log function tracks and analyzes driving data, the Data Log function provides a way to track the progress of your driving.
Although the Civic Type Rs are often praised for their ability on the track, the majority of Civic Type Rs spend most of the day on the roads. The good news is that the FL5 version of the Civic Type Rs is not only a fantastic track-day weapon but also a wonderful road car.
The spacious interior features bright red R-spec front seats that are supportive and comfortable. However, it is nearly impossible to use the lever to adjust the backrest with the seatbelt on. It’s a shame for a car that displays so much attention to detail. The diameter of the steering wheel is perfect, and the rim does not feel too thick. The digital dash graphics are bright and clean.
The +R button at the center console switches the dash layout to a race-style layout. It features a shift light, shift lights, and the selected gear in the center. Activating the +R setting, which activates the race-face +R drive mode, is best left for the track, however, not the least because the +R mode’s adaptive damping setting is so stiff the ride will jiggle your kidneys and blur your vision on anything other than billiard-table-smooth roads.
Sport mode is the best option if you need to feel a bit of lash on quiet back roads. It has excellent body control, steering weighting, and throttle response. The Type R’s 2.0-liter VTEC turbo’s powerful mid-range and top end combined with well-stacked gear ratios mean that you won’t be caught off guard by any deceptive corner.
The FL5 Type R also offers an Individual mode, which allows you to mix and match different elements of the Sport, Comfort, and +R drive modes. This allows you to adjust the engine and steering to be the most responsive +R settings. You can also have the dampers, engine noise, and auto rev match function set in either Sport or Comfort settings.
The Type R can even remember the last drive mode you selected when you start the car. The Type R’s Comfort mode is still very tight and tight, but the inputs are just sweet enough to make it a daily driver. It feels more mature than its predecessor, less raucous, and more sophisticated.
After the chassis is complete, the line descends into the paint shop. As the Type Rs are being painted, we can see how mechanical arms move around them. The primer is then quickly covered with a coat of paint. Another team is available to inspect the finished product. The cars are then taken up an elevator and moved to the general assembly area. Here we can see more of the hands-on work such as bumper construction and mating the engines and gearboxes.
The Type R is powered by a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine of 2.0-liter capacity. It produces 315 horsepower and 310 lb/ft of torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual just like any hot hatch. As the Type R begins to take shape, everything from the subframes and the larger rear spoiler is installed. Even a glimpse at Honda’s quality inspection process, which includes both a rolling road and a complete underbody inspection.
2024 Honda Civic Type-R Price & Release Date
This is a good thing, as the Type R, which first deliveries are expected in Australia in February 2023, comes with a very grown-up price tag of $72,600. This is a substantial $20,000 more than what you would pay for Hyundai’s rascally, i30 N hatch and roughly the same amount you would spend on an Mk 8 Golf R Wolfsburg’s stealthy all-wheel drive supercar.
Is it worth the cost? Yes, if you are looking for the best front-drive hot hatch on the market. There’s more. The Type R is a more expensive car than the Type R. Could it be a bit too sophisticated and elegant for those who loved the FK8 model? It was the Civic Type R’s best-selling vehicle. We will find out in the future.