Honda debuts all new call-sign FL5, Civic Type R

On your marks! … well, that’s about what we get from Honda worldwide so far after the unveiling of the all-new Civic Type R last week. We have pictures from all angles, inside / outside, but that’s about it.

I could sound negative, which I’m not, but if I were to write only for all the pure petrol-heads, the first thing they probably would like to know is, what are the engine specs, and then, how much the new Type R did around the Nürburgring?

The best times around the ‘Ring’ were, through the years, sort of the bench mark when comparing iterations of front-wheel drive hatchbacks. It has been a toss-up between the trio of the Renault Megane, VW Golf (Club Sport) and Honda’s Type R. Both the FK2 and the FK8 held Nürburgring records and many of us are eagerly waiting to hear, whether the new FL5 might have even broken the 07:40 barrier.

So, we don’t have confirmed engine specs yet for South Africa, but I did stumble upon a leaked Japanese brochure stating 330 hp (243 kW) with 420 Nm of torque, all of them ponies onto the front rubber.  (I call it ‘leaked’ because no one has posted anything yet about specific specs yet.)

What will be interesting is real test figures, as the new FL5 Type R comes with more comfortable 19 inch rims (compared to the FK8’s 20 inch wheels), but tyre size is 265/30, instead of the 235/30’s on the FK8. The wider rubber will certainly help to put that power down in the best effective way on launch.

The new Type R is apparently lighter than the FK8, and at the same time wider and lower. It sounds like a recipe to make a car that was class-leading, even better. Is it possible? I believe so, especially if they keep to Soichiro Honda’s quote saying “The day I stop dreaming is the day I die.”

On the inside, you will still find the pure red only front seats and that shiny manual gear know. Will this be the last front-wheel drive, manual only Civic Type R, employed by the red badge? Only time will tell. But Honda SA, we are looking forward to see it in the metal locally, soon please!

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