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JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
6/16/17 3:09 p.m.
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By now you’ve surely read the multitude of reviews of the New Honda Civic Type R that landed around the web at 12:01 a.m. this past Wednesday. That’s the moment the media embargo lifted and auto journalists were allowed to flood the info-sphere with driving impressions and specs on the first Type R-badged car in the U.S. since the legendary Acura Integra Type R–which arrived here more than 20 years ago. The new Civic Type R is also the first Honda-badged Type R vehicle ever officially sold in the U.S.

Heck, the moment that Honda lifted that embargo, you may have even joined us for our live broadcast with driving impressions. Like the rest of the writers at the Montreal-based media preview, we were eager to tell folks about the Honda’s new hot hatch.

The difference is, when it comes to the Civic Type R, so many of them missed the point entirely.

Read the rest of the story

mazdeuce
mazdeuce MegaDork
6/16/17 4:06 p.m.

Thanks for the write-up. I want one.

Driven5
Driven5 Dork
6/16/17 5:09 p.m.

Sounds like a genuinely great enthusiast car. Any word whether the CTR will have the R-Comp tires used for its record breaking Nurburgring run available as a factory option, or will it be getting an asterisk next to that achievement?

rwdsport
rwdsport Reader
6/16/17 5:49 p.m.

It's funny because back when the ITR was new a lot of people bought them (and were unfortunately sold by uneducated salesmen) because they thought most expensive = best integra. That is quite far from the truth, as it was the loudest and most brash and led to a lot of trade-ins, returns and slow sales due to the Spartan/harsh nature of the car. Which is ironically the reason the car is so sought after now. That is what I think of when I see the complaints about the lack of heated seats in this Type-R.

That being said, it is quite fugly in my opinion. I always think "Quality and class never scream for your attention, they whisper" and the design language on this car is much too aggressive albeit quite functional as I understand (the drag coefficient is impressively low). And I do miss the natural aspiration as well (having never driven any of the turbo Hondas). Hondas have never been about being absolutely the fastest but moreso about the total experience. I bought my new FA5 (8th gen) over the WRX despite it being slower because it was a more engaging drive. I liked the VTEC kick, the tiny 2000rpm power band and playfull chassis that could be coaxed to oversteer by trailbraking unlike the plowing WRX. That is what I will miss the most. The simplicity and total joy of handling a scalpel rather than working a sledgehammer.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
6/16/17 6:36 p.m.
rwdsport wrote: It's funny because back when the ITR was new a lot of people bought them (and were unfortunately sold by uneducated salesmen) because they thought most expensive = best integra. That is quite far from the truth, as it was the loudest and most brash and led to a lot of trade-ins, returns and slow sales due to the Spartan/harsh nature of the car. Which is ironically the reason the car is so sought after now. That is what I think of when I see the complaints about the lack of heated seats in this Type-R. That being said, it is quite fugly in my opinion. I always think "Quality and class never scream for your attention, they whisper" and the design language on this car is much too aggressive albeit quite functional as I understand (the drag coefficient is impressively low). And I do miss the natural aspiration as well (having never driven any of the turbo Hondas). Hondas have never been about being absolutely the fastest but moreso about the total experience. I bought my new FA5 (8th gen) over the WRX despite it being slower because it was a more engaging drive. I liked the VTEC kick, the tiny 2000rpm power band and playfull chassis that could be coaxed to oversteer by trailbraking unlike the plowing WRX. That is what I will miss the most. The simplicity and total joy of handling a scalpel rather than working a sledgehammer.

It's more of a throwback than you're giving it credit for. I mean, there's never going to be another Integra Type R (Or Mustang Cobra R, or M3 CSL, or so many other decontented wonders), but for 2017, it's well done. Civilized enough you can live with it, edgy enough you know it's not screwing around.

I'll agree a little on the power curve. I didn't get into it much because of space limitations, but the torque curve is flat. Dare I say, too flat. On one hand, it doesn't penalize you for small mistakes in cornering speed since there's almost always plenty of torque on demand. On the other hand, it doesn't reward you as dramatically for getting it right.

Still someone asked me on the live show if I'd pick a CTR or a Focus RS if you were handing me the keys. I'd take the Civic in a heartbeat, just on superior ergonomics and usability alone. I wold love to get one out on a big, grippy, imperfect track like Sebring. I think it would surprise a lot of people in "fast" cars.

As to the tires, the Nurburgring record wasn't exactly on R-comps (they were Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s), but they were stickier than the US-spec OEM rubber. A set of Hoosiers probably drops another 15-18 seconds. The US-spec Contis probably lose 8-10 seconds the other direction.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
6/16/17 6:36 p.m.

PS: Yes, that derp face in the lead photo is being made by internet sensation Doug Demuro.

Shaun
Shaun HalfDork
6/17/17 12:06 a.m.

"I wold love to get one out on a big, grippy, imperfect track like Sebring. I think it would surprise a lot of people in "fast" cars."

And that is exactly why people Love older Honda's. Sounds like a return to form.

drdisque
drdisque HalfDork
6/17/17 12:51 a.m.

I'd be more enthused if it was wearing smaller wheels. There's no reason it needs 20" wheels with the ridiculous tire size 245/30R20

DrBoost
DrBoost MegaDork
6/17/17 5:44 a.m.

It's just too ugly. I understand tht it has great performance numbers, but it's so overstyled it makes the C7 look good. I mean, if Sandra Burnhardt was a good cook, you still wouldn't be seen with her. Why are there square yards of honey-comb plastic on the bumpers? That ugly spoiler flexes like Arnold did in the '80s. It's just ugly. Then there's the performance deficit against its competitors. Yes, a deficit.
Now who's wearing pearls ;)

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed SuperDork
6/17/17 6:14 a.m.

Yep, pretty busy and over styled but I like it a lot. It's on my short list.

etifosi
etifosi SuperDork
6/17/17 8:21 a.m.

I think this car looks better, now that I understand the designers were going for the "pediatric brain tumor" look.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
6/17/17 9:17 a.m.
drdisque wrote: I'd be more enthused if it was wearing smaller wheels. There's no reason it needs 20" wheels with the ridiculous tire size 245/30R20

Conceptually agree.

But...

Those tall wheels and the gearing combine for a 64mph second gear. That's going to be a big plus on an autocross course.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
6/17/17 9:20 a.m.
DrBoost wrote: Then there's the performance deficit against its competitors.

There is? I haven't seen a reliable, same day/same track/same tire comparison yet. I don't think we have enough data to assume any performance deficit between the CTR and its market competitors yet. Don't confuse specs with performance. If we just went by specs, Miata's would suck.

MoCounselor
MoCounselor New Reader
6/17/17 9:31 a.m.

I, for one, am sold on it. Is it a bit over the top in the styling department (italics for sarcastic effect,)? Absolutely! That being said, if it drives half as well as all of the reviewer that I actually trust say it does, it has to be a hoot to drive. As I assume most of the GRM faithful are, I am much more about the experience of the car than raw numbers. Give me something that puts a grin on my face every time I get behind the wheel and it can look like a mack truck on the outside.

If you want an idea of that, in addition to JG's review, watch Jason's review on the Engineering Explained YouTube channel. He's a hard core super-nerd when it comes to technology, but has a pretty decent baseline, as he owns a S2000 and used to have a 2014 Sti. Just seeing the grin on his face through out the whole 20 minute video told me what I needed to know.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/17/17 9:38 a.m.

I can't blame Honda for all of that black honeycomb in the bumpers. That stuff is everywhere and, like it or not, it's the new norm, especially when it comes to sporty cars. I don't know why I went to the Hyundai site first, but this is kind of funny.

Elantra Value:

Elantra Sport:

I agree that there's a lot of stuff on the Civic Type R, but I can't totally damn Honda in this case. Personally, I'd do a white (tradition) or black one.

MoCounselor
MoCounselor New Reader
6/17/17 9:47 a.m.

Good call David. Black plastic honeycomb cladding definitely is this season's trend, it seems.

Make mine either white, or the dark gray.

-Ben

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
6/17/17 9:47 a.m.
MoCounselor wrote: If you want an idea of that, in addition to JG's review, watch Jason's review on the Engineering Explained YouTube channel.

Yeah, nice guy. Talked to him about coming on the live show sometime. Literally just a dude making videos in his living room that hit it big. Genuine article.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/17/17 9:59 a.m.

Just thinking a little more about this, and that negative space isn't too new. It is interesting how it's used, though.

1998 Honda Civic:

1999 Civic Si

We had one of those Si coupes, too. The function of those black "scoops" in the bumper? Style. My wife still misses that car.

MoCounselor
MoCounselor New Reader
6/17/17 10:16 a.m.

Okay, I guess I'm out of the loop on internet "journalists" but I'm watching the prior-mentioned Mr. Demuro's review of the Si and I have to say that I don't get it. This guy is a "internet sensation?" He just seems annoying and opinionated with little to no basis on his opinions.

MoCounselor
MoCounselor New Reader
6/17/17 10:16 a.m.

Very cool. I'll be watching for that one!

JG Pasterjak wrote:
MoCounselor wrote: If you want an idea of that, in addition to JG's review, watch Jason's review on the Engineering Explained YouTube channel.

Yeah, nice guy. Talked to him about coming on the live show sometime. Literally just a dude making videos in his living room that hit it big. Genuine article.

DrBoost
DrBoost MegaDork
6/17/17 10:50 a.m.
JG Pasterjak wrote:
DrBoost wrote: Then there's the performance deficit against its competitors.

There is? I haven't seen a reliable, same day/same track/same tire comparison yet. I don't think we have enough data to assume any performance deficit between the CTR and its market competitors yet. Don't confuse specs with performance. If we just went by specs, Miata's would suck.

True. It will be interesting to see same day, same track numbers.
I wonder why they made it so ugly. If the spoiler worked (it can't with that much flex) and if the HUGE plastic platters did something, I might be able to excuse some of the terrible look.
But it appears they got criticized because the Japanese can't engineer personality or soul in thier products, this is how they interpreted the idea "we'll do the Civic that Chevy would sell".
I prefer clean, purposeful lines, there are a few designers that can do that.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
6/17/17 11:15 a.m.
MoCounselor wrote: Okay, I guess I'm out of the loop on internet "journalists" but I'm watching the prior-mentioned Mr. Demuro's review of the Si and I have to say that I don't get it. This guy is a "internet sensation?" He just seems annoying and opinionated with little to no basis on his opinions.

Are you saying you want the internet to get things right? Why should it start now?

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
6/17/17 11:22 a.m.
DrBoost wrote: If the spoiler worked (it can't with that much flex)

Sure it can. Watch how much the wings of a commercial airliner flex the next time you're in a window seat. Heck, watch how much the wings of Indy cars move at low speeds. With actual aero load on a spoiler there's also typically much less wiggle than there is when you slam a trunk and there's zero aero load on the piece.

But, yeah, it lends to a perception of lack of quality. And I'm completely willing to admit that the car is heavily, heavily styled. Ther'a really a lot going on there. I can't see a bit of it from the driver's seat, though, and I've got no one left to impress anyway. I wear Crocs for God's sake. I've given up worrying about styling in favor of function years ago.

drdisque
drdisque HalfDork
6/17/17 12:10 p.m.
JG Pasterjak wrote:
drdisque wrote: I'd be more enthused if it was wearing smaller wheels. There's no reason it needs 20" wheels with the ridiculous tire size 245/30R20

Conceptually agree.

But...

Those tall wheels and the gearing combine for a 64mph second gear. That's going to be a big plus on an autocross course.

And hey, there's a lot of decent tires available in 235/35/19 and 245/35/19 so you just have to drop over a grand on a new set of wheels to run decent tires. Of course, the OEM wheels are probably worth something to somebody if you don't want them anymore.

The other issue is potholes - a 30 profile tire is pretty crazy for a rustbelt citizen like me on an otherwise fairly civilized car.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
6/17/17 12:33 p.m.
drdisque wrote:
JG Pasterjak wrote:
drdisque wrote: I'd be more enthused if it was wearing smaller wheels. There's no reason it needs 20" wheels with the ridiculous tire size 245/30R20

Conceptually agree.

But...

Those tall wheels and the gearing combine for a 64mph second gear. That's going to be a big plus on an autocross course.

And hey, there's a lot of decent tires available in 235/35/19 and 245/35/19 so you just have to drop over a grand on a new set of wheels to run decent tires. Of course, the OEM wheels are probably worth something to somebody if you don't want them anymore.

The other issue is potholes - a 30 profile tire is pretty crazy for a rustbelt citizen like me on an otherwise fairly civilized car.

RE71Rs come in 20s (checked on my phone during the press briefing But, yeah, I hear you on potholes. We're a little spoiled in the southeast where it never freezes and the roads are fairly good. In Michigan those would not be ideal sidewalls.

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