What's So Special About Honda's All-New Civic Type R?


When Honda Philippines sent an invitation for a night of “media thanksgiving” at the Karrera Showroom in Alabang, you know something’s up. The car culture lifestyle café is a bit out-of-the-way but the evening rush hour and SLEX traffic did not keep the motoring journalists and other media personalities from being unusually punctual. 

Photo by Honda.

The café and bar is known for its well-curated car memorabilia and car-themed art pieces as well as for its ever-changing car displays. When visitors came in on the appointed date, there were two cars on display: a 5th-generation Honda Civic Type R and another car draped in black cloth waiting to be unveiled. The first car debuted in 2017 at the Manila International Auto Show and the first 100 units Honda brought in immediately sold out.


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But Thursday night’s big unveiling wasn’t a surprise to many, since most motoring enthusiasts knew that the all-new 6th generation Type-R is already in town—all 39 units of them. So the local debut of Honda’s high-performance sedan, which is the most powerful model in the Type R’s 30-year history, was only a matter of time.

Photo by Alvin Uy.

Honda says that its latest halo model embodies the brand’s challenging spirit with its latest innovations that promises to deliver an even more thrilling driving experience. The all-new Type R’s debut comes just a year shy of Honda’s debut in Formula racing in 1964, and back then, it was just a few years after Honda started producing road cars. This was the same company that supplied Formula One engines that propelled the F1 team of Red Bull Racing to a back-to-back championship of Max Verstappen for 2021 and 2022.

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“Tonight, we welcome 2023 with the launch of the most powerful Civic Type R,” said Masahiko Nakamura, president of Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. “It embodies Honda’s DNA, demonstrating the brand’s strong determination for crafting machines that attain the ultimate in speed and the joy of driving.”

Masahiko Nakamura, president of Honda Cars Philippines, Inc

Photo by Alvin Uy.

First impressions  

After the car was finally unveiled, we were immediately drawn to the new sheet metal of the all-new Civic Type R. Honda designed the car with input from the aerodynamic development members of the HRC Sakura Super GT race team, making it more aerodynamically efficient and with an improved downforce, which gives it more high-speed stability. The car was based on the new Civic Hatchback, which has a new bumper that reduces side wake, functional front fender air outlets, and a side sill garnish that enhances efficiency, contributing to a lower overall coefficient of drag.

Photo by Honda.

In terms of size, the all-new Type R is 0.8 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider, and 0.5 inches lower than its predecessor. Its A-pillars have been pulled rearward by almost two inches to improve visibility. We love the new LED headlamps and redesigned LED taillamps, and it comes with Matte Black finished 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 265/30 high-performance tires, a tailgate spoiler, its tri-tip tailpipe diffuser, and the tell-tale sign of Type R badges found both on the front grille and tailgate along with the red Honda logo.

Hardly looking like a sleeper car, it comes with class-leading, track-ready performance packed with several key technology features. Inside, it comes with a nine-inch touchscreen that supports various multimedia functions such as Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto paired with a 12-speaker Bose sound system, and a 10.2-inch fully digital instrument cluster, automatic air-conditioning, smart entry with a smart key card and one push start system, as well as a wireless charging pad.

Photo by Honda.

Honda Sensing 

The all-new Civic Type R also comes with the standard Honda Sensing suite of driver assistive and safety technologies with cameras and a fast processor that allows the system to measure distance and the lateral position of objects based on the change in the size of the target object, how long it takes for the change to occur, and the speed of the vehicle. This enables the camera to recognize white lines, road boundaries such as curbs, other vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, and road signs.

According to the spec sheet, what is unique and exclusive to the all-new Civic Type R is a new enhanced version of the Honda LogR Performance Datalogger, which combines its onboard computer and sensors with a new built-in vehicle app that help drivers monitor and record a variety of performance parameters in real time when driving on the road, on track and other closed courses, which helps to improve driving skills. These include a 3D display Performance Monitor, Auto Score feature to measure driving performance, and a Data Log that analyzes data to help drivers understand their driving habits. It also scores track performance, provides lap time and Heat Map.

Photo by Honda.

Powering the Civic Type R is a 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC VTEC, turbocharged in-line 4-cylinder engine that’s rated at 320 PS and 420 Nm of torque that propels the car through its set of front wheels. It has a six-speed manual transmission with a Rev Match Control System, which has been improved compared to the outgoing model for more precise and smoother shifting while on the go. Of course, the distinctive milled ball shifter is still there. 

The all-new 2023 Civic Type R will be available in two colors: its racing-heritage color, Championship White, along with Racing Blue Pearl. Price: P3.88 million.

For more information visit any of Honda’s dealerships nationwide or through its virtual showroom.  


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