The Honda Civic Type R will soon land in Australia and it will be on the look-out for a few quick hot hatch scalps to re-establish the Type R moniker in this country. Unfortunately for the Honda, scalping the competition will not be as easy is it may have been a decade ago.
Be careful not to make eye contact...
The last few years have seen the range of hot hatches available to Australian enthusiasts increase to the point where deciding which one to buy threatens to consume lives and tear families apart.
You can choice between MPS, GTi, VXR or XR5 and they're just the ones with short names, so you get the picture. It is not made any easier by the fact that they are all impressive packages.
Last year HSV released the Clubsportâ€™s baby brother the HSV VXR. For $42,990 it comes complete with a 177kW/320Nm 2.0-litre turbo-charged engine, six-speed manual gearbox, Attention Deficit Disorder and a snotty nose.
Running 177Kw through the front wheels has seen the little brat meet with some criticism in the press both in Australia and in Europe where it is sold as the Vauxhall Astra VXR.
Generally it is agreed that despite the shortcomings inherent in running this much power through the front wheels the HSV VXR is one hell of a ride. You just have to get used to the horsepower genie tugging on the wheel when you light the wick.
Fight club - wrestling 177kW's with your bare hands and a steering wheel
The HSV VXR comes with 19-inch European style 10 spoke alloy wheels an
IDS chassis control system featuring ESP, traction control, ABS and brake assist.
Recaro sports seats hold you in place around the twisty bits and braking is handled by the 321mm x 28mm internally ventilated front disks and 278mm x 10mm solid rear disks. This is all in addition to the VXR body kit which is not Mazda 3 MPS subtle but it is well integrated and quite tasteful.
You have to wonder what the HSV VXR is going to make of the Civic Type R when they bang heads in the near future. One of them will be slinking off with a bloody nose.