Honda Civic Type-R 2007 test
Intro: A proper GTi
Welcome aboard the Honda Civic Type R, one of the rare sports cars that today is worthy of such a distinction...installed in the superb Recaro bucket seats, we have the pleasure of discovering this new generation that contrary to many of its rivals hasnt become too antiseptic with time...this new Type R is a real life Gti.
Its very original design is simply sublime. Lowered 15mms, it is mounted on 18-inch wheels. The honeycomb radiator grill and front bumper were especially made for this model. All of the bodywork bits are painted. The base is, of course, the three door version that also retains the same dimensions as the five door. The rear bumper was given a honeycomb deflector. And there is the roof spoiler, which is painted the same colour as the rest of the car, placed in the centre of the rear window. This Honda clearly announces its intentions.
Motorization: 8000 rpms
The engine is the same 2-litre i-VTEC but it has been slightly modified. It has been given a new butterfly gearbox, which increase the maximum revs from 7600 rpm on the preceding version to 8000 on the new model. The four-cylinder engine still has two personalities. Under 5500 it is mild mannered but after that it becomes quite devilish all the way to the red line. Its 201 brake horsepower comes to life with a raging sonority that invades the interior.
On the road: Hard to beat
The quintessence of this car is found between 4500 and 8000 rpm and never below. This is a quick car, the steering is ultra direct; the suspension is rock hard and in some conditions a bit too much at that. You soon realise that there is no auto blocking and the car quickly turns into something of a fighter plane...unfortunately, this option is only available in Japan. Theres room for improvement when it come to traction, but the overall package forgives this minor flaw. The ESP, or as Honda calls their version, VSA can be disconnected. The travel of the gear shift is very short and the gearbox is spot on precise. When at higher speeds it is completely safe and efficient, but it loses just a little bit of agility in the tighter corners and it is just a tick less exciting than the earlier version, but far better than many of its segment rivals.