2018 Honda Civic Type R Review: FWD Done Right

I've just driven the new FK8 Honda Civic Type R on road and track. It's hugely improved on the outgoing FK2 Type R, making it a stonkingly awesome FWD weapon!
2018 Honda Civic Type R Review: FWD Done Right

Small changes are sometimes all it takes to make something that’s already great into something mind-blowing. Take grilled chicken for example; smother that bad boy with Nandos Hot sauce, and you’ve got the perfect lunch. Take your own bed, add fresh sheets (bonus points if you didn’t change them yourself) and you get what’s known as a bedgasm. Or how about ordering an Uber? The feeling you get when a Mercedes E-class shows up instead of a Prius is world class.

In the world of cars, manufacturers update existing models (from simple facelifts through to all-new platforms), and while the changes are usually good ones, there are usually a few things that get overlooked, like harsh-riding suspension or a gearbox that feels like you’re stirring a pot of oats. But with the all-new FK8 Civic Type R that I’ve just driven on road and track, every single small change that Honda has made has contributed to a car that is now harder to fault than that movie with Scarlett Johansson where’s she’s in a body suit the whole time. ‘Ghost In The Shell’ I think it’s called.

2018 Honda Civic Type R Review: FWD Done Right

So what’s been done to make the new FK8 Type R even more desirable? Well, for starters, there’s slightly more power, up from 306bhp to 316bhp. In reality, you barely feel the difference, but more is always better.

Inside the engine, there’s now a lighter, single-mass flywheel that weighs 8.7kg vs the outgoing FK2’s 14kg. This makes the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine feel keener to climb through the rev range and helps slingshot you out of corners with even more oomph.

Getting even more nerdy, you’ll be pleased to know that the engine’s exhaust valves are now filled with sodium which helps with heat transfer…because I hated that the FK2’s exhaust valves weren’t filled with sodium before.

2018 Honda Civic Type R Review: FWD Done Right

Torsional stiffness is also up 38 percent. The car’s track is slightly wider as are the tyres, and the the wheels are an inch bigger (now 20s), filling the arches better than previously. The bonnet is lower than the FK2’s, top speed is up by 2mph (now 169mph) and at the rear, the new car now features vortex generators, which punch the air and directs it to the wing which despite being thinner now, actually creates more downforce (in fact, the Type R remains the only car in its class that produces downforce, while all others simply reduce lift - the more you know).

2018 Honda Civic Type R Review: FWD Done Right

Crucially, though, the FK8 has has ditched the FK2’s rear torsion beam in favour of multi-link rear suspension, a feature you also get on standard new Civics. So in theory, at least, the new Type R should finally ride well, something that couldn’t be said about the ‘because racecar’ ride you got in the outgoing model. So here’s how I got on with the new Type R…

2018 Honda Civic Type R Review: FWD Done Right

At 8:30 I was given the keys to the new car. My route from a fancy Dresden hotel to the Lausitzring was around 100 miles away, and this being Germany, the derestricted Autobahn lay ahead. But before any top speed runs (which you can watch in tomorrow’s video on the channel), I instantly noticed the improved ride quality. Here is a Civic Type R that rides smoothly enough to be used as a daily driver, and thanks to three driving modes (Comfort, Sport and +R) the car now ticks all the boxes. Even in the harshest +R setting, the ride is perfectly acceptable over bumps, which says a lot about how much higher the bar has been set.

2018 Honda Civic Type R Review: FWD Done Right

Navigating out of Dresden, it was time to hit the Autobahn. 169mph was the top speed target to hit, and in no time, that was achieved. I even kept the car there for around seven seconds, but try as I might, a higher number was unachievable. Now 169mph sounds impressive, but it really didn’t feel it; high speed stability in this car is sublime and the slightly wider track and improved downforce helps keep the car pinned to the road. The speed at which the car gets to 169mph is also mighty impressive, so make sure you check that out in tomorrow’s (Wednesday’s) video.

2018 Honda Civic Type R Review: FWD Done Right

Having arrived at the Lausitzring, I was paired with my badass Austrian instructor, Robert Lechner. He’s a Formula Ford and Formula Renault champion, won the Nurburgring 24 Hours race in 2002 and the FIA GT1 world championship in 2007. Again, he’s a proper badass. Anyway, he led me onto the track, with both cars set in Comfort mode to get a feel for grip and to introduce me to the corners. Even in the least aggressive setting, I could feel how much grip was on offer, how tight the chassis felt and how hard the thing could take a corner.

Soon, Sport mode was engaged which sharpens the throttle response and stiffens the revised dampers. The pace was upped, and before long I was braking as hard as I could, which revealed just how much more stable the car was under braking compared to the FK2 that would happily squirrel about.

2018 Honda Civic Type R Review: FWD Done Right

After being instructed to engage beast mode (+R), I was on the limit of my driving ability, but not on the limit of what the Type R was capable of. Despite this, I could feel the extra punch of the sharpest-possible throttle response, felt the subtle bumps of the track far more than in Sport and was able to trim my line more cleanly.

My instructor, Robert, was impressed with my driving, but I bet he says that to all the girls. And hey, the car did most of the work, but my few laps on the Lausitzring were epic and a lot of fun. I now understand how the FK8 is some seven seconds faster around the Nurburgring than the FK2 with a FWD record of 7min 43.8sec (for now at least, until the new Megane RS has a crack).

2018 Honda Civic Type R Review: FWD Done Right

Overall, then, I’m very happy to report that the FK8 Type R has no obvious flaws that I can think of. It now rides brilliantly, is perfectly comfortable over long distances, looks wicked (I know I’m in a minority here) and is a car you can use as a daily driver and as a track car that will embarrass almost anything you put in its path.

If you weren’t sold on the Type R before, then, you should give this new one a very close look.



Honda haters:

06/13/2017 - 22:06 |
6 | 56

Well, I am sure that Honda’s engineers know aerodynamics better than you.

06/13/2017 - 22:12 |
54 | 0

Dude, do you know anything about aerodynamics, or even about cars ?

06/13/2017 - 22:35 |
22 | 0

There’s not much weight in the rear. Gotta keep it down some how

06/13/2017 - 22:56 |
6 | 0

Formula 1 cars have a front spoiler too, you know? And they are RWD only.

06/14/2017 - 09:23 |
0 | 0
Chewbacca_buddy (McLaren squad)(VW GTI Clubsport)(McLaren 60

Roberto Pagan

06/13/2017 - 22:08 |
0 | 0

Ghost in the Shell I thought was a fantastic film, The retro-futuristic cars in it were fantastic.

06/13/2017 - 22:12 |
8 | 2

Not sure if trolling….

06/24/2017 - 22:19 |
0 | 0

I have a question, does those hideous fake rear vents have a purpose?

06/13/2017 - 22:17 |
0 | 12

In reply to by AliK

all audis have them, but as soon as Honda gets on them everyone screams RICE xD

06/13/2017 - 22:50 |
18 | 0

In reply to by AliK

No actually not because the engine doesn’t need so much air and they are just there for now

06/14/2017 - 05:54 |
0 | 0

In reply to by AliK

I love how people downvote because they don’t share the same opinion. Instead of, you know, answer something about it.

06/14/2017 - 07:35 |
2 | 0

In reply to by AliK

it’s styling. People forget that styling exists.

06/15/2017 - 00:33 |
0 | 0
Ruben Willems

Am I the only one who thinks the car would look 10x better with more reasonably sized rims? 18 inch in a single tone like silver would look much better imo.

06/13/2017 - 22:22 |
54 | 6

It would be if it was styled reasonably. But everything is crazy in this car and small rims would look dull in my opinion.

06/13/2017 - 22:25 |
2 | 2

It’s a Type R, what’d ya expect?

06/13/2017 - 22:53 |
24 | 2

Tire profile

06/14/2017 - 00:02 |
0 | 0

Yeah it looks like a hot wheels car

06/14/2017 - 15:36 |
2 | 0

Damnit. There would be so much want without that ugly styling (the triple exhaust being the icing on the cake)

06/13/2017 - 22:36 |
26 | 6
Anas "SadButStillSad"

When i see those exhausts im always reminded of something, hmmm……

06/13/2017 - 22:44 |
246 | 4


06/13/2017 - 23:19 |
0 | 0

I have to agree! 😅

-DriveAndBeDriven 🚘
“The Quest To Record The Best!” 📽

06/13/2017 - 23:20 |
10 | 0

Don’t disrespect the F40 like that!

06/14/2017 - 05:47 |
22 | 32
Anthony B

Mannn Honda needs to ditch FWD on this car or at least give the option for AWD or RWD!! I really don’t like FWD sports cars 😤

06/13/2017 - 22:50 |
2 | 24

It’s not a sports car. And having FWD AND RWD would be illogical.

06/13/2017 - 23:12 |
6 | 4

It is a Honda hot hatch. It is the way it is suppose to be and it goes with the territory. There a compromises with any car that is anywhere near this price point. You could get an AWD one but it will weigh a lot more (at least 150kg in the case of the similar sized Focus RS) and all the downsides that brings, and would be FWD bias anyway. RWD (or RWD bias AWD) requires a longitudinal engine and other changes which isn’t possible on a car based on a platform which has ordinary FWD models. There are plenty of awd hot hatches already to choose from from Mercedes, Audi, VW, Subaru and Ford (and they are all heavier and slower on a race track). I actually consider lightweight FWD a USP on this car at this power to weight ratio, at least until the Megane RS comes out.

06/14/2017 - 01:34 |
0 | 0

I’ve got news for you: Honda doesn’t like you either, nor does it need you. Carry on.

06/15/2017 - 00:26 |
0 | 0
SAVAGE DOGG (Ping-Pong Gang) (Corvette Squad)

Doesn’t it?

06/13/2017 - 23:03 |
48 | 14

I don’t see it.

06/14/2017 - 01:32 |
6 | 4

Hulk’s face reminds me Madara’s

07/04/2017 - 19:57 |
4 | 0
Jun Kaile Yamauchi

Nevermind the car, you get an E-class for an Uber?! What?!

06/13/2017 - 23:07 |
34 | 2

Yeah, if I pay extra. That category also has the Lexus RX I believe. The top of the line one would be an s class or escalade.

06/15/2017 - 14:15 |
0 | 0



Sponsored Posts