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I am a big Honda fan, owned the previous FN2 model and was selling Honda's when the EP3 was around. The VTec engine was always the opposite in terms of performance due to its high revving abilities where the car just kept pulling all day long, the only drawback was the lag low down, the competition were producing turbo powered engines which were faster and were quicker off the mark. Now Honda has gone from naturally aspirated to turbo charged power, this has produced the most powerful front wheel drive hatchback on the market with 306 BHP.

The car looks like it means business, flared wheel arches covering the 19" black coated alloys, side vents and a spoiler that looks as if it has just been put together last minute. The original devils horn rear spoiler that appeared in early adverts was ditched and replaced with a more aerodynamic one, Honda were serious when they recorded a record lap for a front wheel drive car at the Nurburgring and the spoiler plays a big part in that creating downforce and other clever bits of scientific airflow.

The new Civic Type R starts at £29,995 front wheel drive, six speed manual gearbox, mechanical LSD, and some seriously comfy and great looking seats, this continues the tradition of the red and black alcantara seats in previous models. It is quick, a top speed of 167 mph proves that although 0-60 time is 5.7 seconds, don't get me wrong still quick but not sub 5 seconds like the BMW M135, Golf R, RS3 or AMG 45. After driving the car I can see that Honda were looking for performance and handling as the main priority, it is sublime the way it drives and gives you a great deal of confidence when pushing it hard. There is also an R mode, this turns the car from a sedate family hatchback to a more hardcore touring car, a button on the dash makes the instrument rings glow red instead of white. It also loosens the ESC shackles, implements a more aggressive torque map, reduces assistance to the electric power steering and firms up the dampers. On a stretch of motorway the car still feels comfortable, but around town you do feel the bumps through the base of your back.

The Type R that I drove and photographed was in Electric Blue metallic, with the red accents around the car it gave a good contrast and was a change from the red that has appeared on all the press cars recently. Location wise I used a familiar spot, an industrial estate just outside of Canterbury, plenty of space and with the mid day sun blazing it provided a nice saturated contrast to the car photos. Lighting was with the ever dependable Profoto B1 flash, filling in the shadows and darker areas lf the car to bring out more detail.

Its fair to say that the Type R is not going to be everyones cup of tea, its brutish styling is aimed at a younger generation but I do urge you to drive it as its one of the best cars I have driven this year. Honda are to be applauded for not playing it safe and going to town on the design to make it look like a touring car, the fact that it handles like one is testament to the engineering skills of the Japanese car manufacturer. Thanks to Barretts Honda for loaning me the car, especially as it only arrived the day before. Call 01227 866266 to arrange a test drive.
BLOG 2015