A Blitz around Dezzi Raceway
Honda recently invited us to the all-new 6th generation Honda Civic Type-R launch for flying laps on Dezzi Raceway in KZN. The aim was not to drool over the beautiful seaside, but to put the Type R to the test.
The 180km from the airport to the raceway provided us with opportunities to test the new Type-R’s improved comfort mode for normal roads. At the track, Race and +R modes are more suitable.
The car itself has been made longer (165mm), wider and lower (36mm). Together with aerodynamic improvements, the Type-R not only looks like a “Batmobile” sibling, but also travels much faster than the previous generation model.
In fact, it beat its Nurburgring time by seven seconds to take the new track record for front-wheel drive cars. Fitted with 20-inch Berlina black alloy wheels and striking red Brembo front pads, Type-R looks intimidating.
Round the back, the massive tail wing and three exhaust tips make you realise that this car is ready for action.
LED-daytime running lights, new and larger air intakes and aerodynamic roof shark fins add to the striking looks of the Honda. It will definitely not be missed in the car park.
The new turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine kicks out up to 228kW (@6500rpm) and 400Nm (@2500 – 4500 rpm).
True to Honda’s character, it unleashes most of its demons at high revolutions.
A fact that we learned well later on.
More family friendly?
Yes, the previous Type-R was not the stereotypical, “let’s take the grandparents to church” type of car and neither is this new model. However, the car was improved significantly for “family use”.
A wider and longer chassis means more legroom at the back. Along with the more comfortable suspension, the seats are also a significant improvement, holding you tight for high-speed corners, yet comfortable enough to sit in them for a few hours.
Legroom has been improved, with 414 litres in luggage space available.
It is still a race car?
Don’t get us wrong. Yes, the new Type-R is more “family-friendly”, but it is also more a racer than it has ever been before. Honda has made it clear that this car will be for a very niche market, yet we also concluded that this car will probably sell better than its predecessors. It is the type of car that you would want to spend money on.
Switch modes over to +R and the Civic Type-R unleashes its power. Don’t be mistaken by the relatively quiet engine note. This sedan is one proper car around the track.
The Dezzi Raceway, with its elevated short- and long turns, tested the grip levels of the car well.
Reaching 100km/h (claimed 5.8 seconds) is not the concern with this car as it is built for bends and turns.
It’s lower, longer and wider chassis proved itself in the long turns, not allowing under- or oversteer at any point.
Downshift accurately into the shorter corners and the power is immediate and responsive, pushing you firmly into the bucket seat as the car slings forward.
The Type-R will not be the best for straight-line dragstrips, yet will outperform even the best all-wheel-drive hot hatchbacks around a twisty track. This is what the car is built for.
Honda has manufactured one of the ultimate racers, but the car has more comfort on the road and offers its occupants a more practical interior design.
The Honda Type-R will be sold with a competitive package of a 5-year/200 000km warranty / 5-year/90 000km service plan and a 3-year AA roadside assistance plan.