It has been a while since we have seen a knife edge borderline insane VTEC powered Honda in Australia. The last â€˜realâ€™ type R in this country was the Integra Type R from the late 90â€™s and the thought of its raw, visceral appeal is still enough to prompt a little trouser action in many enthusiasts.
Plenty of space-cadets in Honda's design department but it does grow on you
Honda have recently announced that the current model Civic Type R will be heading to the colonies in 2007 and it will be landing slap bang in the middle of a hot hatch â€˜punch-onâ€™ the likes of which hasnâ€™t been seen before.
This Honda Civic Type R is built in Sunderland England where it is available in two models. A cheaper base model and the more expensive 'one with the lot'. It appears that Honda will only offer one model in Australia no doubt a version of the better equipped UK car.
The Civic Type R is powered by a 2.0-litre VTEC screaming banshee that zings out 148Kw at 7800 rpm and 196Nm of torque at 5900 rpm. According to Honda the Civic Type R will belt from 0-100 km/h in 6.6 seconds and will top out at 235 km/h. It does this without a turbo in sight but is it enough to take the fight to the hot hatch kings?
The Honda Civic Type R's best angle in my opinion
Car magazine recently tested the Civic Type R against all of the hot hatches available in the UK and it came up trumps. That includes the Golf GTi and the UK equivalents of our HSV VXR and Ford Focus XR5. Predictably, the Golf GTi ran it a close second but the rawness and single-mindedness of the Civic Type R won the reviewers over.
You could say the gameâ€™s moved on; perhaps no-one wants the raw edge that turns every well-intentioned trundle to the shops into tyre shredding, Gastro-taunting anarchy. Yet isnâ€™t that compulsion the essential ingredient, the Holy Grail of a truly great drive and the very essence of what a hot hatch is all about?
So apparently the Civic Type R is up to the fight and once again a serious performance Honda will be available in this country which is great news for performance car enthusiasts. Even the Buck Roger's styling is growing on me.
Ground control to Major Tom... Will the red button fire the Photon torpedoes?